Iranian Thief's Hand Reportedly Cut Off by 'Guillotine' as Punishment

Report says man's hand was amputated after he was convicted of stealing Jewels, sheep and motorcycle despite reported decline in such punishments

A briefcase filled with Iranian rial banknotes sits on display at a currency exchange market on Ferdowsi street in Tehran, Iran, on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. A wave of bad loans from unregulated lenders has rocked the banking sector and oil prices have averaged less than $60 a barrel for the past three years, draining Iran of a key source of revenue. Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

A semi-official news agency is reporting that authorities in Iran have amputated the hand of a convicted thief in a prison in the country's northeast.

The report from the ISNA news agency says one hand of the 34-year-old convict identified only as Ali was cut off by "guillotine" in a prison in Mashhad, some 900 kilometers (550 miles) northeast of the capital Tehran.

It said the convict was immediately sent to a hospital for treatment.

The Thursday report said Ali was detained in 2011 for allegedly stealing sheep, jewelry and motorbikes.

Iran's judiciary uses a strict interpretation of Islamic law in handing down such sentences. Cutting off the hands of thieves, however, has been rare in the recent years.

Critics say amputations, public executions and floggings hurt Iran's image.