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Iran: Supreme Court Upholds Retaliation Punishment

(May 18, 2009) The Supreme Court turned down the appeal of a man who by throwing acid into the eyes of a woman turned her blind. The 27-year old, Majid, whose insistence on marrying the woman, Ameneh, failed to win her positive response, decided to deprive her of her sight by throwing acid into her eyes. The High Criminal Court of Tehran, following a long and highly emotional trial, sentenced the man to a retaliation punishment, based on the Islamic Criminal Code (the principle of an eye for an eye), upon the request of the blind woman. According to the court decision, the woman has to instill ten drops of acid into each of his eyes.

Immediately after the attack, the family of Ameneh had sent her to Spain, in the hope that she might regain her sight. After a series of operations the woman, who had exhausted her financial support, discontinued further medical treatment and returned home in despair.

All through the highly emotionally charged trial, Majid continued to offer to marry the blind woman, but all such offers were turned down by Ameneh, who asked the court for the retaliation punishment. At the end of the High Criminal Court trial, Ameneh expressed her satisfaction about the court decision and said that “retaliation punishment is what is demanded by the public so that this horrible thing would not happen to another girl.” (Supreme Court Upholds Retaliation Punishment of a Man Who Threw Acid into the Eyes of a Girl, Turning Her Blind in Both Eyes, IRAN TIMES, Feb. 27, 2009, at 2.)