(France24) One of Iran’s official press agencies published photos showing the public amputation of a thief’s fingers on Wednesday. These show a man getting his finger chopped off with a machine resembling a rotary saw.

We contacted many of our Observers in Iran to ask them about this machine. Some of them had heard about it before, but many discovered its existence through these morbid photographs, which were reportedly taken on Thursday. According to the INSA press agency, the man shown getting his finger cut off was charged with robbery and adultery by a court in the southwestern city of Shiraz. He was also accused of being at the head of a criminal organisation. On top of losing his fingers on one hand, he was sentenced to three years in prison and 99 whip lashes.

No independent witnesses were able to recount the circumstances under which this amputation took place. Four photos of the scene published by the press agency were widely relayed on social media networks. Strangely enough, the man’s face did not betray any signs of suffering in the photos, though it is possible that he might have been drugged.

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