Iran’s new finger-chopping machine may be touted as a punishment for thieves, but Mahmoud Amiry-Moghaddam (spokesperson for Iran Human Rights in Norway) thinks this cruel and unusual method of punishment is really just an attempt to crush political dissent!

Iran has unveiled its latest innovation in criminal punishment – a machine that cuts off the fingers of thieves. A series of photographs appearing to show a blindfolded man having his fingers severed by the mechanical amputation device, have been published latelly by an official Iranian press agency.

According to the INSA news service, the prisoner used to demonstrate the brutal contraption had been convicted of theft and adultery by a court in Shiraz last Wednesday. The series of pictures show three masked officials, clad entirely in black, holding the man’s right hand in a vice while one turns a wheel operating the guillotine in the manner of a rotary saw.

This warning, issued without explanation, is perceived by various authorities to deter public protest ahead of June’s general elections.

More impression from the published series of photographs is available at The Telegraph

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Reflexology is known as an alternative medicine involving ‘zone therapy’, which implicates the physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. Last year a study from Iran has pointed out that reflexology can produce significant results for women regarding pain intensity and the duration of labor in primiparous (women who are pregnant for the first time).

Likewise results for pregnant women had been reported from Iran in 2010.

However… it is important to be aware that there is no consensus among reflexologists on how reflexology is supposed to work; a unifying theme is the idea that areas on the foot correspond to areas of the foot, hand and ear, and that by manipulating these one can improve health through one’s qi.

Therefore it could be very well possible that these findings result from the same ‘human touch’ principles that are being used in haptonomy.

(A few more detailed hand reflexology charts are available in the article: ‘Key-elements of a hand reflexology chart‘)