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An Eye For An Eye: Iranian Officials Gouge Out Acid Attacker's Eye As Punishment

| by Jared Keever
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An Iranian man, convicted of blinding another man by throwing acid on him, had his left eye gouged out in an Iranian prison Tuesday as punishment for the attack. 

The Guardian reports the state-run newspaper in Iran, Hamshahri, said the man was rendered unconscious by medical staff at Rajai-Shahr prison before having the eye removed. The attacker is also to serve a 10-year prison sentence and pay a fine.

Neither the victim of the acid attack nor his attacker have been identified in reports.

Tuesday marks the first known case in which such a retaliatory sentence has been carried out in Iran.

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The punishment, known as qesas, or “retaliation in kind,” came five years after the man was found guilty of splashing acid on his victim, according to the New York Daily News.

The attack reportedly left the victim horribly disfigured and blinded for life.

Such punishments are permitted in Iran under Shariah law, a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Under the law, the victim has the final say in the convicted person’s sentence. 

The acid attacker in this case was originally sentenced to have both of his eyes removed but his victim decided to postpone removal of the right eye for six months. The convicted man will reportedly be allowed to plead with his victim to spare his right eye. 

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, from the Norway-based group, Iran Human Rights, condemned the punishment, according to The Guardian.

“Medical staff who cooperate with the Iranian authorities in this act have broken the Hippocratic oath and cannot call themselves doctors,” Amiry-Moghaddam said.

The New York Daily News reports that a second eye removal, in a separate case, was scheduled to take place Wednesday but was postponed because no one was willing to carry out the procedure. 

That case involved victim, Davoud Roushanaei, who lost an eye and an ear in a 2005 attack in which the attacker, identified only as Hamid S., poured acid on him. 

The postponement marks the second delay in Roushanaei’s case. Doctors also refused to carry out the sentence in January. Authorities have rescheduled the attacker’s sentence for March. 

"The delay is from the medical side and is not our fault," a judge is reported as saying by the New York Daily News. "We had a meeting with the forensic medicine and they will let us know once there is a doctor who is willing to carry out the sentence.”

Sources: The Guardian, New York Daily News

Photo Credit: Facebook, Iran Human Rights via New York Daily News