Sudan: Doctors involved in court-ordered amputation

March 8, 2013

On February 14th, doctors in Al-Ribat University hospital in Khartoum executed a court sentence of amputation of a man who was convicted of highway armed robbery. His right hand and left foot were cut off by doctors in the hospital.

Sudan’s criminal law is based on Shari’a law, however, Sudan is also a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is therefore obliged to eliminate laws and regulations inconsistent with international human rights law. According to various sources, this was the first time in 30 years that this particular punishment, cross-amputation of one hand and one foot, had been done in Sudan.

State-sponsored torture

The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, Human Rights Watch, REDRESS and Physicians for Human Rights have called on Sudanese leaders and international actors to condemn the practice immediately, and to urge swift reform of Sudanese laws in conformity with Sudan’s international human rights commitments.

‘Cross-amputation is a form of state-sponsored torture,’ said Dr. Vincent Iacopino, senior medical advisor at Physicians for Human Rights. ‘The complicity of medical personnel in such practices represents a gross contravention of the UN Principles of Medical Ethics for health personnel, particularly medical doctors who engage, actively or passively, in acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’

Source and full article: Human Rights Watch website