The Korea Herald


Forgiven Iran acid attacker will not be blinded

By 황장진

Published : July 31, 2011 - 17:05

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TEHRAN (AFP) - An Iranian man convicted of throwing acid in the face of a female student who was to have been blinded himself on Sunday in retribution was pardoned by his victim, the state-run television website said.

"With the request of Ameneh Bahrami, the acid attack victim, Majid

(Movahedi) who was sentenced for 'qesas' ('eye for an eye'-style justice) was pardoned at the last minute" after she decided to forgo her right, it said.

Movahedi was sentenced in February 2009 to be blinded in both eyes after being convicted of hurling acid in the face of university classmate Bahrami when she repeatedly spurned his offer of marriage.

The court-ordered blinding of Movahedi was postponed at the 11th hour in mid-May, with no official reason given.

Bahrami told the ISNA news agency she pardoned her attacker because "God talks about 'qesas' in the Koran but he also recommends pardon since pardon is greater than 'qesas'."

"I struggled for seven years for this verdict to prove to people that the person who hurls acid should be punished through 'qesas,' but today I pardoned him because it was my right.

"I did it for my country, since all other countries were looking to see what we would do," she added.

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi hailed Bahrami's decision, but also said that judiciary would have carried out the blinding sentence.

"Today in hospital the blinding of Majid Movahedi was to have been carried out in the presence of an eye specialist and judiciary representative, when Ameneh pardoned him," he was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

"However she demanded blood money for her injuries," Jafari Dolatabadi said, referring to compensation allocated to the victims of violent crimes when they suffer serious injuries, but he did not elaborate.

"The judiciary was serious about implementing the verdict, and Ameneh by her courageous act pardoned the 'qesas' of this man," Jafari Dolatabadi added.

In mid-May, Arman newspaper quoted Bahrami as saying: "I want two million euros to guarantee my life and my future, not for treatment. It is only then that I will give up 'qesas' against Majid, although they said -- and I hope it is true -- that the sentence will be carried out next week."

ISNA on Sunday quoted Bahrami's mother as saying she was proud of her.

"I am proud of my daughter... Ameneh had the strength to forgive Majid.

This forgiveness will calm Ameneh and our family," she said.

Amnesty International had previously called for a stay of the sentence, which it described as "a cruel and inhuman punishment amounting to torture."

The Islamic sharia code in force in Iran provides for retributive justice, most commonly for murder or for those convicted of causing intentional physical injury.

Bahrami, who was 24 when she met Movahedi in 2002, has been undergoing medical treatment for her disfigurement for years in Spain. She is blind in both eyes and still has serious injuries to her face and body.

Several acid attacks have been reported in Iran in recent years, and the press has been generally supportive of Bahrami, publishing sympathetic interviews with her and photographs of her face before and after the attack.

In December 2010, the supreme court upheld another sentence to blinding handed down against a man convicted of an acid attack against his wife's lover that deprived him of his sight.

There has been no reported confirmation of it ever being carried out.



이란 남성, "눈에 염산 주입" 형벌 면해

청혼을 거절했다는 이유로 짝사랑 여성에게 염산 테러를 가한 이란 남성이 피해자의 용서로 `눈에는 눈, 이에는 이' 원칙에  따 른 형벌을 면하게 됐다.

염산 테러로 양쪽 눈을 모두 실명하고 중화상을 입은 아메네 바라미(32)는 가해 자 마지드 모바헤디(30)를 용서하겠다고 밝혔다고 이란 뉴스통신 ISNA가 31일  보도 했다.

바라미는 "나는 그가 나와 같은 처지에 놓여야 한다는 것을 증명하기 위해  7년 간 싸워 왔지만 결국 그를 용서키로 결정했다"며 "다른 나라들이 우리가 어떻게  대 응할지를 지켜보고 있는 상황도 고려, 우리 나라를 위해 그를 용서키로 마음을 정했 다"고 말했다.

이슬람 샤리아법에 따르면 피해자가 가해자를 용서할 경우 사법당국은 처벌을 면제해줄 수 있다.

모바헤디는 바라미가 용서하지 않았다면 이날 테헤란의 한 병원에서 두 눈에 염 산을 주입당하고 실명하는 형벌을 받을 예정이었던 것으로 알려졌다.

바라미가 모바헤디로부터 보상금을 받고 용서했는지는 정확히 알려지지 않았다.

다만 테헤란 검찰청 소속 압바스 자파리 돌라타바디 검사는 그녀가 부상 치료를  위 한 보상금을 요구했다고 전했다. 

바라미는 지난 5월 모바헤디가 200만유로(약 30억원)의 보상금을 지급할 경우 그를 용서하겠다고 밝힌 바 있다.

바라미는 2004년 11월 자신을 짝사랑했던 모바헤디의 청혼을 거절했다가 그가 뿌린 염산이 얼굴에 쏟아져 시력을 잃고 중화상을 입었다.

이란 법원은 당시 강력한 처벌을 원하는 바라미의 뜻을 존중해 2009년 2월 마지 모바헤디의 눈에 염산을 떨어뜨려 실명케 해야 한다는 판결을 내렸다.

그러나 국제인권단체들은 염산을 주입해 실명토록 하는 형벌이 잔혹하고 비인도 적이라며 형 집행 중지를 요청했고, 이란 당국은 지난 5월 예정됐던 형 집행을 무기 한 연기했다. (연합뉴스)