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Iran acid victim pardons her attacker

By Catrina Stewart

Published 01/08/2011

Ameneh Bahrami, who was blinded and disfigured by a man who poured acid on her face, has pardoned her attacker (AP)
Ameneh Bahrami, who was blinded and disfigured by a man who poured acid on her face, has pardoned her attacker (AP)

An Iranian woman blinded by a spurned suitor spared her attacker the same fate moments before she was due to drip acid into both his eyes in a Tehran hospital.

Ameneh Bahrami, who was an attractive 24-year-old engineering student at the time of the attack, was left blind and horribly disfigured after Majid Movahedi threw acid in her face in 2004 after she repeatedly turned down his proposals of marriage.

But as she prepared, literally, to take "an eye for an eye", she exercised her right to pardon her attacker under Sharia law.

In footage aired yesterday on Iranian state television, Movahedi, pictured kneeling in an operating theatre as he awaited punishment, immediately burst into tears and thanked her.

The 2008 decision by a Tehran court to uphold Ms Bahrami's demand for retributive justice drew horrified international reaction, with Amnesty International denouncing it as a "cruel and inhuman punishment amounting to torture".

Under Sharia law, Ms Ameneh could seek retributive justice or have the sentence commuted in return for financial compensation.

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