Iran Rolls Out 'Finger-Chopping Machine' New device an attempt to quell protest: activist By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted Jan 27, 2013 5:54 PM CST 160 comments Comments The Iranian finger-chopping device resembles a rotary saw. (Iranian Students' News Agency) (Newser) – After publicly hanging two muggers, Iran has released photos of an apparent finger-chopping machine used for punishing criminals. The four images show a convicted robber and adulterer losing a finger before he is sentenced to 99 lashes and three years in prison, according to state media. But he shows no sign of pain during the terrifying ordeal—perhaps because he has been drugged, reports France24. Mahmoud Amiry-Moghaddam, a spokesperson for Iran Human Rights in Norway, says the machine is a new attempt to quell political protest. "Every time we get closer to an election, the number of these incidents increases," says Amiry-Moghaddam. "And we’re getting quite close to the presidential election [slated for June]. I believe this is a strategy to instill fear in the population so as to avoid any protests."