Thursday, December 30, 2010

Iranian justice: an eye for an eye

Al Jazeera Engish today brings a story of a  rather disturbing Iranian court ruling. It says that that a man must  lose his eye and part of an ear after he blinded and burnt an ear of another man in an acid attack The man, who was only identified as Hamid, had been convicted of throwing acid on the victim, named as Davoud, Al-Jazeera says, quoting the hardline newspaper Kayhan of Wednesday.
According tt the story the judge also ordered Hamid to pay blood-money to Davoud, who was 22 at the time of the attack. The ruling it says was issued under the Islamic Republic's eye-for-an-eye justice code. Hamid told the court he had mistaken Davoud for a classmate who had bullied him in hfigh school, saying that even after moving, he remained tormented by the memory of the bullying.
The report, quoting other sources, including Iran's Fars news agency, did not say whether the authorities would, in fact, carry out the  punishment by using acid or via surgery.
Several acid attacks have been reported in Iran in the past few years. In November, the supreme court upheld a sentence of blinding with acid against a man only named as Mojtaba, who blinded his lover's husband in the holy city of Qom. In February 2009, Majid Movahedi was sentenced to be blinded in both eyes for having hurled acid in the face of a university classmate, Ameneh Bahrami, who refused his marriage proposal. There has been no reported confirmation that the sentences were carried out.
Various interpretations of the (originally) Babylonian law that specifies an eye-for-an-eye - a tenet under the Islamic Sharia code - exist in the region, often in cases involving less severe recompense. Judaic and Christian laws also hold similar tenets.
However, the limits of the law are sometimes tested, as in one case in Saudi Arabia in August, when a court investigated whether severing the spinal cord of a man found guilty of paralysing a man he attacked with a cleaver would, in fact, kill him.

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