View Full Version : Eye For An Eye Punishment

Paul G
17-05-2011, 1:11am
This story has come out of Iran in the last couple of days. I can remember when the original story was in the news 7 years ago.

Do you think in this day and age eye for eye punishments are warranted or are they just too barbaric? I know some people will think they are warranted and some or even many of them, probably are.

Many countries still use capital punishment, some without so much as a fair trial so should nations mentioned in this story be singled out for continuing with eye to eye punishments?

'Eye for an eye' acid punishment postponed after outcry

May 16, 2011 2:01pm

The court-ordered blinding of an Iranian man as punishment for throwing acid on a woman who spurned him has been postponed, but heated debate over his crime and such "eye for an eye" punishments continues.

Majid Movahedi was due to be made unconscious in a prison hospital in Tehran on Saturday and acid was to be dropped into his eyes by his victim, Ameneh Bahrami.

Ms Bahrami, a engineer, was blinded and severely disfigured after Movahedi threw a bucket of acid in her face in 2004 for rejecting his marriage proposals. Movahedi was 21 when he assaulted her.

But Movahedi received an 11th-hour reprieve on Friday night, the Iranian news agency ISNA reported.

While Iranian authorities did not say why the sentence was not carried out, the country had been under international pressure to stop it from going ahead.

Groups such as Amnesty International argued that the sentence was "a cruel and inhuman punishment amounting to torture".

But others in Iran feared that "forgiveness", the other legal choice open to Ms Bahrami, would only encourage similar crimes.

"There's no doubt public opinion inside Iran has been stirred up," Iranian women's rights activist Asieh Amini told Time magazine.

"There's been a huge outpouring of sympathy for both of them, and this puts pressure on the government."

Ms Bahrami herself pushed for qesas - a form of retributive justice under Sharia law.

"I've suffered so much in these years but now I am really happy," the 7sobh daily reported her on Saturday as saying, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The verdict is completely legal and I would like to carry it out. But if it is not possible, then the physician designated by the judiciary will do it."

She also told BBC Persian television on Saturday: "I want people like him to know that they will suffer forever if they cause someone such suffering.

"I want him to be punished foremost. But if there are human rights considerations, then I'll accept €2 million and his life imprisonment," Time magazine quoted her as saying.

Iranian-American journalist Azadeh Moaveni wrote in Time that the young woman's case was a "unique dilemma" for Iranian authorities.

"Unlike many human rights cases which excite opinion primarily in the West, it has resonated deeply throughout Iranian society; the attention inside Iran raises the prospect of a public backlash at a time when the regime is deeply divided by political infighting."

Dr Jan Ali, a sociologist in Islam at the University of Western Sydney's School of Humanities and Languages, said the crime was a reflection of the unequal relationship between Iranian men and women.

"There seems to be an attitude among the men in Iran where women are seen as subordinate to men.

"What this highlights is that ... the man saw himself as a masculine male who can treat anyone [in any way]. Unfortunately in this case it happened to be a woman and he expressed a misogynist attitude towards a particular woman.

"Given the history of Iranian society where males have been dominant, I don't see it changing any time soon."

Amini said the legal options of either qesas or "forgiveness" placed Ms Bahrami in a tight spot.

"Bahrami must sit in the place of the judge and either forgive her attacker or take revenge. The legal system pushes her into a dead end, and it's really the law that's deficient here."

Ms Bahrami, who was 26 at the time of the attack, was not told of the postponement and found out about the change only from journalists, the BBC reported.

She travelled to Iran from Spain, where she had undergone 17 operations following the attacks, The Guardian reported.

"I couldn't believe it," she told the BBC after being informed of the postponement. "I think human rights activists are trying to stop me from carrying out the sentence."

It would have been the first time such a sentence was carried out in Iran, AFP reported, quoting 7sobh.

In December, an Iranian court ruled that a man was to lose an eye and an ear after he blinded another man and burnt his ear in an acid attack.

The month before, the Iranian Supreme Court upheld a ruling that ordered a man undergo the same "eye for an eye" punishment, after he blinded his lover's husband by throwing acid in his face.

Neither sentence is known to have been carried out.

In Saudi Arabia in August, a man was sentenced to have his spinal cord severed after he paralysed another man by attacking him with a cleaver.

But doctors charged with carrying out the medical procedure refused to operate on the man, saying "inflicting such harm is not possible".

The last known case where the "an eye for an eye" punishment was carried out was 11 years ago in Saudi Arabia, when an Egyptian had an eye surgically removed for disfiguring another man in an acid attack, the Daily Mail reported.

Paul G
17-05-2011, 1:13am
This is what Ameneh Bahrami looks like now with her holding a picture of how she used to look.

: removed : members cannot place photos on AP that they do not own copyright over : sorry : admin

17-05-2011, 7:06am
Barbaric, the whole lot, both the original crime and the revenge.

17-05-2011, 7:15am
Whilst I agree it is barbardic, some people need to be taught that society has some fairly basic standards that we expect everyone to uphold, and if they cannot, then they should not be part of that society. What he did to this poor lady is beyond revenge, and beyond tagic. No matter what is done to him now, she will not be the same person again. I am not going to say if I want him blinded or not, but if she was my daughter, I would want to kill him!

17-05-2011, 8:53am
Not a very nice topic for discussion, but I will throw my 10cents worth in. Sometimes I wonder who really has the better legal system. Us, the so called developed countries. Or the 'third world' ones. Every week we see cases of injustice and punishments that do not fit the crime. The so called " Do Gooders " of this world seem to have no idea what is right or wrong. You wreck someones life for ever, then you should be dealt with severely. Our legal standards are so out of balance, they are a joke. Example: A man murders a woman and gets 10years. Another man takes cash payments from a friend and gets 12 years. WHAT ? I have to stop now I think my blood pressure is going up. :D

17-05-2011, 9:25am
The Iranian legal system seems to be putting her in a terrible position. It's really unfair on the victim to make her responsible for the punishment given to the criminal who attacked her.

17-05-2011, 11:11am
An extremely difficult situation. Her life has obviously been changed forever, and the feelings are understandable. Not a decision I would want to make.

Steve Axford
17-05-2011, 3:27pm
On the island of Ambrym I asked what the tribal law was if a person killed another person. I was told they would have to pay the family one pig. And if that person killed another? Then another pig. Only on the third time would the killer be put to death. I thought that was perhaps a bit lenient, but an eye for an eye is just revenge.

17-05-2011, 6:23pm
it may or may not be barbaric, but if that's the punishment, and the guy knew it when he did the crime, then that's the way he should be punished.

however it should not be up to the victim whether the crime should be punished.

17-05-2011, 7:06pm
An "eye-for-an-eye" style retribution is why we have so many problems in the world, IMVHO! It is obviously not that much of a deterrent.

I was relieved to read today that there will be no allowance made for Sharia Law within Australia (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/govt-blocks-sharia-law-push-by-federation-of-islamic-councils/story-e6frf7jo-1226057428592) - it would appear to be the basis of this style of punishment.

17-05-2011, 9:04pm
Gandhi said that "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." I am inclined to agree.

19-05-2011, 12:10pm
I'll throw my 2 cents in -

The crux of the matter is all about consequences of actions. "An eye for an eye" is basically enforcing the consequences onto the person who committed the crime, and the level of consequence admitted to the perpetrator. "An eye for an eye" will seem harsh to westerners, but in the Middle East it is the norm. It serves the purpose of educating the population of consequences of destructive actions, and also bring a sense of justice and closure to the victim.

I have to say I'm not advocating this level of punishment. However, in the western world where the law does not seem to protect its people against crimes with adequate level of consequencial punishment, it is very tempting. How often do we read in the newspapers that innocent people getting maimed or killed by drunk drivers, etc etc, and the consequences / punishment for them seems incredibly small.

I would say Singapore is an example of where its citizens as a whole respect and obey their laws. Maybe they realise it's there to protect them, and those who break the law will have to suffer the consequences as governed by their law enforcers.

19-05-2011, 1:04pm
hmmm!!! this is a difficult one ... is it barbaric ~ definately ... does it work as a deterrant ~ on the face of it the answer would have to be 'no!' as the guy involved you would think would have been aware of their legal system, and still went ahead with his action ... was he acting 'in the heat of the moment' then? Definately not as he had to plan to get the acid, find the victim before carrying out his crime.

Therefore, it comes down to no matter the punishment, there are still people who will do unthinkable things, that leaves us with the victim ... easy for us to say she shouldn't have to make the decision, but what would we want ... example, we are all photographers here, different levels, from hobby to professional, but all share a love and passion for ours and other people images, so how would we feel if somebodies deliberate action took that away from us???

I think you have to help the victim receive justice, there are too many stories of how the victim or victims families can't come to terms with what has happened to them due not feeling they have received justice ... so the only answer I feel I could come to with a clear heart, is we have no right 'to play God' however these are the type of people who have lost the right, due to their actions, to be able to carry on with a 'normal' life; and therefore should be removed from society until the end of their natural life, or until the victim felt they had received some form of justice.

Sadly there will never be a justice system that will appease everyone or prevent tragic events occuring.