Revenge: Ameneh Bahrami was left with horrific scars after Majid Movahedi threw sulphuric acid in her eyes after he had begged her in vain to marry him. She is seen here holding photos of how she used to look
In an 11th hour decision Iran has postponed blinding a convicted man who threw acid in the face of a woman because she would not marry him.
A court sentenced Majid Mohavedi to be blinded in both eyes for throwing acid into the face of 32-year-old Ameneh Bahramiy.
Under Iran’s Islamic law, imposed since the 1979 Islamic revolution – an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth – it is permitted in cases where bodily injuries are inflicted.
Mohavedi was convicted after he threw acid at Bahrami’s face, blinding the then 24-year-old electronics graduate in both eyes.
Movahedi attacked her at a bus-stop in 2004 after he had begged her in vain to marry him.
For months he had stalked her and she was left blind and disfigured. She later underwent 19 operations.
The court awarded her £19,000 in compensation and Majid went to jail. But Ameneh did not want the money.
She wanted her attacker to suffer the same anguish she was forced to endure for more than six years.
Bahrami, whose hands, neck and face were also disfigured in the attack said she does not see the ruling as taking revenge, but wanted to ‘prevent it from happening to someone else.’
She has received death threats because of her determination to exact revenge.
‘The police have told me not to go out on the street alone,’ she said. ‘My parents are scared. They think the judges are wrong.’
Arrangements had been made for Ameneh to inject the acid into her attacker’s eyes as he lies in a Tehran hospital under an aesthetic at midday today. Twenty drops in each eye.
She was quoted as saying: ‘I’m very happy. After six years I’m getting justice. But we are both losers because we have both suffered greatly.’
Bahrami and her lawyer have now said they were not aware that the punishment had been postponed.
‘I haven’t got any official news on the postponement of the verdict,’ said her lawyer Ali Sarrafi.
‘The verdict has been issued by the court and it is legally enforceable unless it is postponed due to legal reasons.’
Judiciary officials were not available for comment but an unnamed official said: ‘The punishment of Majid was scheduled to be carried out on Saturday at a hospital but it has been postponed.’
Amnesty International has urged Iran not to carry out the sentence, saying: ‘the Iranian authorities have a responsibility under international law to ensure it does not go ahead’.
‘Regardless of how horrific the crime suffered by Ameneh Bahrami, being blinded with acid is a cruel and inhuman punishment amounting to torture,’ said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director for Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
Painful evidence: Ameneh Bahrami’s clothing and shoes destroyed by acid are kept by her family in their Tehran apartment