Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi has announced that convicted assailant Majid Movahedi has not yet been blinded by acid only because certain “medical arrangements” must be made before the sentence is carried out.
“As soon as it was announced that the sentence has been postponed, foreign media suggested that the delay was because of [Movahedi’s victim’s] interview with foreign news outlets,” the prosecutor told Iranian news media.
“However, this sentence needs special medical arrangements because ‘ghesas’ (the Islamic legal principal of punishment being equal to the crime) demands an exact equivalent,” he added. “We are talking about blinding an individual, and the mechanism of carrying out this sentence is very important.”
Dowlatabadi said that ever since the verdict was handed down, officials have been diligent in making sure that the convicted man not suffer beyond the injury that he had inflicted.
Movahedi threw acid on Amaneh Bahrami in 2004, after the victim spurned his marriage proposal. The attack left Bahrami sightless and severely disfigured, and Movahedi was immediately incarcerated.
In accordance with “ghesas”, the court sentenced Movahedi to be blinded by acid, and the sentence was to be carried out at noon last Saturday May 14 at the court’s hospital in the presence of medical specialists.
Conservative websites have criticized the judiciary for delaying the sentence and insist that “society has the right to have Movahedi blinded.” They maintain that the faithful adherence to “ghesas” would reduce the occurrence of such heinous acts.
Human rights activists have challenged this view, saying such a sentence re-enacts the violence of the crime and turns it into something acceptable in society.