Pictures: Man's Hand Sawed Off in Public by Iranian Authorities

| by Michael Allen

While Iran insists to the world that it supports human rights, the government recently released pictures (below) of a sawing device used by Iranian authorities to amputate the fingers of convicted criminals.

In the pictures, three hooded men (afraid to show their faces?) use the large saw to carry out punishment on a convicted thief and adulterer.

The blindfolded man, who was found guilty by a court in Shiraz, Iran, is shown being led up to the saw, reports the Daily Mail.

Three hooded men then grab hold of the man and his hand is clamped in place with a vice. While one hooded man operates the rotary blade, the other two hold the man still as the saw severs his hand.

All that is left is a bloody stump, which is then dipped in raw iodine. The man shows no pain, which suggests that he may have been drugged.

Following the amputation, a public prosecutor announced that criminal punishments like these would become more severe.

Under Sharia law, amputation, whipping and death by stoning are all legal forms of punishment.

Mahmoud Amiry-Moghaddam, a spokesperson for Iran Human Rights in Norway, told "What is surprising about this is that not only was this a public amputation, but that photos of it were distributed by official press agencies, and that they showed a machine that we had [as] yet never seen images of."

"Every time we get closer to an election, the number of these incidents increases. And we’re getting quite close to the presidential election. I believe this is a strategy to instill fear in the population so as to avoid any protests."