Iran to Blind Woman Who Attacked Another With Acid

Iranian women covering their faces with green niqabs in Noushabad, south of the capital Tehran, Iran, December 17, 2010.Credit: AP

Iran's supreme court has ruled that a woman must be blinded in one eye as punishment for an acid attack that left her victim sightless, using the principle of "eye for an eye" of Islamic Sharia law, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Thursday.

Under Iran's Sharia law, imposed since the 1979 Islamic revolution, qesas (retribution) is permitted in cases where bodily injuries are inflicted.

The convicted attacker, who was not identified, was found guilty of throwing acid in the face of her unnamed victim two years ago in the city of Mahshahr, about 60 km (37 miles) west of the capital Tehran.

"The sentence to blindness in one eye, payment of blood money (compensation), and seven years imprisonment have been confirmed by the highest court," Tasnim quoted judiciary official Majid Karami in the city of Mahdasht as saying.

Karimi did not say when the sentence was scheduled to be carried out. Victims and their families have the final say and can prevent the punishment from being imposed, under the law.

Iranian officials, concerned about the increase in the rate of acid attacks, have endorsed retribution. However, the practice of carrying out an "eye for an eye" punishment, is very rare in Iran.

Several acid attacks have been reported in Iran in the past few years. In 2011, an Iranian woman blinded with acid by her suitor after she spurned his marriage offers spared him hours before surgeons prepared to blind the man with acid.

Rights group Amnesty International have urged Iran not to inflict the punishment.

The concept of qesas also applies to other crimes in Iran, such as murder. A victim's family can demand the death of a convicted murderer or commute the sentence in return for financial compensation from the criminal.