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Amnesty International urges Iran against eye-for-eye penalty

14 May 2011 [10:10] - TODAY.AZ
Iranian authorities must not blind a man as part of a sentence for disfiguring a woman in 2004, urged Amnesty International Friday from its London headquarters, dpa reported.

The man, Majid Movahedi, is set to be blinded with the application of five drops of acid to each eye sometime Saturday, reported the human rights organization. The penalty is in retribution for his crime, of pouring a bucked of acid over Ameneh Bahrami, who had rejected several marriage proposals from Movahedi.

"It is unbelievable that Iranian authorities would consider implementing such a punishment," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa programme, in a statement.

The sentence was handed down in 2008. Mohavedi turned himself in two weeks after the attack and admitted to the crime during a preliminary hearing.

But Amnesty still argues that there is no way to justify such a penalty.

"Regardless of how horrific the crime suffered by Ameneh Bahrami, being blinded with acid is a cruel and inhuman punishment amounting to torture," said Sahraoui. "The Iranian authorities have a responsibility under international law to ensure it does not go ahead."

Amnesty reported that Bahrami has supported the penalty and demanded retribution for her injuries.

"That will not just be compensation for me and all the pain inflicted upon me, but it will also be a signal to frighten other people from committing similar attacks," Bahrami told the Iranian ISNA news agency.

She currently resides in Spain, but there was speculation that she might return to Iran to personally deliver the penalty.

She has undergone 17 surgeries since the attack and lost one eye directly due to the incident. Doctors were able to restore 40 per cent of her vision in the remaining eye, but that capacity was lost after an infection.


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