Report: Authorities amputate hand of convicted thief in Iran

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.