Amaneh Bahrami

Amaneh Bahrami, the Iranian woman who was blinded by an acid attack to her face, has halted the ghesas sentence handed to her assailant.

ISNA reports that Majid Movahed was to be blinded with acid today at 6 AM. Defence attorney Mehdi Rabani had reported that Movahed was transferred from Rejaishahr Prison in order to undergo the blinding.

It was seven years ago that Movahed sprayed Bahrami with acid, disfiguring her face and robbing her of all sight. The Iranian judiciary sentenced Movahed to be blinded by acid based on the provisions of ghesas, the Islamic legal principle that punishes criminals with the same injury they have inflicted.

Bahrami said she was moved to pardon her assailant because the Quran recommends mercy in demanding ghesas. She expressed hope that her decision might improve Iran’s international image. In addition she said her pardon made her family content and gave her inner peace.

"For seven years I fought to get the ghesas sentence and to prove that acid attacks deserve the ghesas sentence, but today I have shown mercy. This was my right; however, tomorrow someone may not show mercy," Bahrami told the media.

Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jaffari Dowlatabadi announced that the judiciary had firmly resolved to carry out the sentence, but it was halted when the victim decided to forgo the ghesas sentence. He added that Bahrami has demanded compensation for the cost of her medical treatments.

The blinding by acid sentence was to be carried out in May but was delayed for an undetermined time. The Iranian judiciary had said it was not certain the unprecedented sentence could be carried out without inflicting more injury than the initial victim had suffered. Bahrami had also asked for delays because of "anxiety and stress in connection with the ordeal."