Thursday 8 December 2016

Acid victim spares her attacker from blinding

Nasser Karimi in Tehran

Published 01/08/2011 | 05:00

An Iranian woman blinded and disfigured by a man who threw acid into her face stood above her attacker yesterday in a hospital operating room as a doctor was about to put several drops of acid in one of his eyes in court-ordered retribution.

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The man waited on his knees and wept.

"What do you want to do now?" the doctor asked the 34-year-old.

"I forgave him, I forgave him," she responded, asking the doctor to spare him at the last minute in a dramatic scene broadcast on Iran's state television.

Ameneh Bahrami lost her sight and suffered horrific burns to her face, scalp and body in the 2004 attack, carried out by a man who was angered that she refused his marriage proposal.

The sobbing man, Majid Movahedi, said Ms Bahrami was "very generous".

It was a change of heart from around the time when the court handed down the sentence in November 2008. A few months later, Ms Bahrami said she was happy with the ruling.

"I am not doing this out of revenge, but rather so that the suffering I went through is not repeated," she said at the time.

The court ruling allowed Ms Bahrami to have a doctor pour a few drops of the corrosive chemical in one of Movahedi's eyes as retribution based on the Islamic law system of "qisas", or eye-for-an-eye retribution.

Though she was blinded in both eyes, the court ruled she was entitled to blind him in only one eye.

After undergoing treatment, Ms Bahrami initially recovered 40pc of the vision in one eye, but later lost all her sight.

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said Movahedi would remain in jail until a court decides on an alternative punishment.

Ms Bahrami has sought financial compensation from her attacker for the cost of treating her injuries.

But Amnesty International criticised the Iranian law that allows victims of such attacks to deliberately blind the assailants under medical supervision.

In a statement yesterday, the group said the practice was a cruel punishment that amounted to torture.

Irish Independent

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