Iranian acid victim spares her attacker from same fate


Ameneh Bahrami, who was blinded in both eyes after having acid hurled in her face by a university classmate when she repeatedly spurned his offer of marriage, arrives at her home with her father in Tehran, on July 31, 2011.



An Iranian woman blinded in both eyes by a man who threw acid into her face has pardoned her attacker - just as he was to have several drops of acid put into his one of his eyes in a court-ordered retribution.

The man waited on his knees and wept as a doctor prepared to blind the man with acid after giving him an anesthetic but at the last minute she pardoned him.

"What do you want to do now?" the doctor asked 34-year-old Ameneh Bahrami.

Bahrami, who had refused to marry Movahedi, was disfigured and blinded by him when he threw a jar of acid in her face while she was returning home from work in 2004, The Guardian reports.

"I forgave him, I forgave him," she responded, asking the doctor to spare him at the last minute in a dramatic scene broadcast on Iran's state television.

Bahrami lost her sight and suffered horrific burns to her face, scalp and body in the attack, carried out by a man who was angered that she refused his marriage proposal.

"It is best to pardon when you are in a position of power," Bahrami said in explaining her decision on Sunday to spare him.

Under Islamic law in Iranian victims are allowed to seek such retribution, known as qisas, including for assault and even murder. However, Sharia law also advises clemency particularly during or before Ramadan, which is about to start in Iran on Monday, the Guardian reports.

Human Rights groups had urged her not to carry out the blinding sentence.

She said later that she never intended to go ahead with the retribution but it was important that he receive such a sentence.

Her sobbing attacker, Majid Movahedi, said Bahrami was "very generous".

He is also sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Bahrami still wants financial compensation - known as "blood money" - to cover her medical bills, Reuters reports.

She told Iran's ISNA news agency she struggled with the decision for seven years, but finally decided to accept the Koran's recommendation to grant a pardon.

There have been several other acid attacks on women in Iran.

Last week, a young woman died after a man poured acid on her face for rejecting his marriage proposal. Her attacker remains at large, AP reports.