‘Eye for an Eye’: Iran Gouges Eye of Man Convicted of Blinding Acid Attack

Lluis Gene/AFP
Lluis Gene/AFP

An Iranian court has sentenced a man to have his eye gouged out after being convicted of blinding another man by throwing acid on his face.

The Iranian government applies Sharia law to criminal procedures. The Qur’an embraces the “eye for an eye” concept, which the country chose to enforce literally in this case. On Tuesday, the man “was rendered unconscious,” and medics proceeded to gouge out his eye. Iran Human Rights (IHR) condemned the punishment.

“This week two people who carried out acid attacks were going to be blinded,” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesman of IHR. “In one instance the offender agreed to carry out the sentence himself, but the punishment has been postponed by two months. The other man, who had his left eye gouged, was sentenced to blindness from both eyes. His right eye will be gouged in six months.”

The attacker allegedly threw acid on his victim five years ago. He was sentenced to blindness in both eyes, ten years in prison, and a fine. Under Iranian law, the victim is given the final say in punishment, and decided “at the last minute to postpone the blinding of his right eye for six months.” The man has six months to convince the victim “to spare him from being blinded fully.”

“Iran has been showing their mild side to the international community, but this does not correspond to what really happens in the country,” he continued, then added:

It’s extremely important that western countries don’t overlook such a brutal practice because they will send a completely wrong signal to Iran and all the other regions. By blinding the man, Iranian authorities clearly demonstrated the brutal side of their system and it’s not fundamentally different from what the Islamic State (Isis) does.

It is not the first time Iran disciplined a person under the “eye for an eye” law. In previous cases, medics have refused to fulfill the punishment. Moghaddam also said the medics who participated in the penalty “have broken the Hippocratic oath and cannot call themselves doctors.” Amnesty International condemned the blinding, as well.

“Blinding is totally prohibited under international law, along with stoning, flogging, amputation and other forms of corporal punishment provided in Iran’s Islamic penal code and must not be carried out under any circumstances,” stated Raha Bahreini, a researcher with Amnesty International.

Another man, only known as Hamid S., was scheduled to lose his eyes, but the victim, Davoud Roushanaei, decided against the punishment. It is the second time Hamid’s punishment was postponed. In January, the medical staff refused to perform the surgery.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.