Iran postpones ′eye-for-an-eye′ punishment | World| Breaking news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 14.05.2011
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World

Iran postpones 'eye-for-an-eye' punishment

News reports from Iran say the Islamic Republic has postponed blinding a convicted man in retribution for throwing acid in the face of a woman in 2004. Rights groups had demanded the punishment be stopped.

Ameneh Bahrami

Bahrami lost her vision after being doused with acid

The Iranian government postponed on Saturday, May 14, an order by a Tehran court to blind a man convicted of having thrown acid in a woman's face, according to the country's official news agency.

The sentence was scheduled to be carried out early on Saturday in a Tehran hospital but was indefinitely postponed, a government official told ISNA.

A court sentenced Majid Mohavedi in 2008 to be blinded in both eyes with acid as penalty for his 2004 acid attack on Ameneh Bahrami, who had refused his offers of marriage. Bahrami was blinded by the acid.

Under Iran's Islamic law, in effect since the country's 1979 revolution, qesas, or "retribution," is permitted in cases involving bodily injury.

Amnesty International has urged Iran not to carry out the sentence, saying that it contravenes international laws that prohibit torture.

"Regardless of how horrific the crime suffered by Ameneh Bahrami, being blinded with acid is a cruel and inhuman punishment amounting to torture," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director for Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa departments.

Eye for an eye

Bahrami herself supports the penalty and demands retribution for her injuries, saying carrying out the sentence will leave her more serene.

"This serenity will not stem from the culprit suffering hardship and pain but that (with the carrying out of the sentence) there is the probability of more deterrence regarding those who want to commit this crime," she told ISNA a day before the scheduled punishment.

She has undergone numerous surgeries since the attack and lost one eye directly due to the incident.

Doctors were able to partially restore her vision in the remaining eye - but a subsequent infection left her completely without sight.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (Reuters, dpa)
Editor: Kyle James

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