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In 2004 Iranian woman Ameneh Bahrami´s face, scalp and body were burnt with acid by the man that she declined to marry. According to the “eye for an eye” Iranian law the man should pay the same punishment that he did to her. One week ago, her attacker Majid Movahedi was about to received his penalty when suddenly Bahrami forgave him.
When the doctor was about to put some acid drops in the attacker´s eyes, who was waiting on his knees, he asked Bahrami, whose face is still disfigured, what she wanted to do then.
“I forgave him, I forgave him,” she answered at the last minute.
As Bahrami explained to Iranian state television she didn´t want any revenge, and forgiven was more important for her that any other thing, “it is best to pardon when you are in a position of power,” Bahrami remarked.
Movahedi, said Bahrami was “very generous.”
“I couldn’t imagine being blinded by acid,” said Movahedi as he cried against a wall.
In Iran, victims are allowed to ask for the appliance of Islamic law. According to the law, if no agreement is reached “quisas” also known as the “eye-for-an eye” vengeance is compulsory.
In Bahrami’s attacker’s trial, held November 2008, the court verdict permitted the woman to have a doctor drop acid on one of his eyes as retribution.
After the sentencing, Bahrami told a Spanish radio station that she was satisfied 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 in the March 2009 interview.
After the attack, the 34-year old woman lost one eye and 40 percent of her vision in the other. Despite attempts to recuperate the damaged eye with a special treatment in Barcelona, Spain, she finally lost all of her eyesight.
According to Iran’s ISNA news agency, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said Movahedi would remain in jail until a court decides on an alternative punishment. In addition, her aggressor will have to pay financial compensation. In the past, Bahrami asked for up to $200,000 in compensation.
This type of aggression is not the last one to happen in Iran. Last week, a young woman died after a man dropped acid on her face when she declined to marry him.
Amnesty International criticized the Iranian law for allowing this kind of cruel torture to the attackers under medical supervision. As a consequence to these kinds of sentences, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement that, “the Iranian authorities should review the penal code as a matter of urgency to ensure those who cause intentional serious physical harm, like acid attacks, receive an appropriate punishment; but that must never be a penalty which in itself constitutes torture.”