Iran blinds an acid attacker

The Guardian: In a literal application of the sharia law of an eye for an eye, an Iranian man convicted of blinding another man in an acid attack has been blinded in one eye, marking the first time Iran has carried out such a punishment.

The convicted acid attacker, who has not been identified, was rendered unconscious in Rajai-Shahr prison in the city of Karaj on Tuesday as medics gouged out his left eye, according to the state-owned Hamshahri newspaper.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, from Iran Human Rights (IHR), an independent NGO based in Norway, condemned the blinding as barbaric. “Medical staff who cooperate with the Iranian authorities in this act have broken the Hippocratic oath and cannot call themselves doctors,” he said.

The man had been found guilty of throwing acid in the face of his unnamed victim five years ago in the city of Qom, blinding and disfiguring him for life. He was subsequently sentenced to be blinded in both eyes, paying a fine and 10 years imprisonment.

Although the convict was sentenced to lose sight in both eyes on Tuesday, the victim – who, under Iranian law, has the final say in the punishment – decided at the last minute to postpone the blinding of his right eye for six months. The attacker will be able to plead with the plaintiff to spare him from being blinded fully.

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