By Chioma Obinna
The World Medical Association has raised the alarm over Iran’s Supreme Court’s decision on the amputation sentences passed on four men, saying, they will fully support physicians who refuse to participate in the inhuman actions.
The four prisoners, convicted for robbery, are to have four fingers on their right hands completely cut off as stipulated by Iranian law. The sentences, which the WMA denounced in September, are believed to be carried out imminently.
In a letter to the Iranian authorities, WMA President Dr. David Barbe, reiterated that the WMA’s firm opposition to these sentences, which purposely inflict extreme pain, irreversible disability and obliterate human dignity.
He stated that such abhorrent practices are simply unworthy of a state governed by the rule of law. Amputation constitutes a grave cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment that the WMA denounces in the strongest terms as a patent violation of international human rights law.
Describing its decision as an ‘appalling act of cruelty’, barbe said the action should be stopped even as he condemned the requirement under Iranian law for a physician to oversee the punishment.
“This was in direct violation of the core ethical principles of the medical profession. It is our standard to encourage physicians to honour their commitment to serve humanity and to resist any pressure to act contrary to the ethical principles governing their dedication to this task. We are determined to fully support physicians who refuse to participate in these inhuman actions’.
He further called on the Iranian authorities to comply with its international obligations, in particular under the International Covenant Civil and Political Rights prohibiting cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment and treatments in all circumstances and without exception that the Republic of Iran has ratified in 1975.