In 2004 Majid Movahedi attacked Ameneh Bahrami with acid because she refused his offer of marriage. The attack left her severely disfigured (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk) and he was sentenced to be blinded when his victim demanded qisas, a rarely used retributive justice under Sharia law.
In 2008 her demand that Mr Movahedi be blinded was backed by a court but rights group Amnesty International had lobbied against the sentence, describing it as a “cruel and inhuman punishment amounting to torture”.
But the state television website reported: “With the request of Ameneh Bahrami, the acid attack victim, Majid (Movahedi) who was sentenced for ‘qisas’ was pardoned at the last minute.”
Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told the Isna news agency that: “Today in hospital the blinding of Majid Movahedi was to have been carried out in the presence of an eye specialist and judiciary representative, when Ameneh pardoned him.”
The news agency also quoted Ms Bahrami as saying: “I struggled for seven years with this verdict to prove to people that the person who hurls acid should be punished through ‘qisas’, but today I pardoned him because it was my right.
“I did it for my country, since all other countries were looking to see what we would do.”
She was also quoted on Iranian TV as saying: “I never wanted to have revenge on him. I just wanted the sentence to be issued for retribution. But I would not have carried it out. I had no intention of taking his eyes from him.”
Tehran prosecutor praised Ms Bahrami’s “courageous act” of pardon and added that she had demanded “blood money”, compensation for her injuries.
Ms Bahrami explained that she had never received any money from the man’s family but was seeking compensation for medical fees, which she put at 150,000 euros ($216,000).
“He wont be freed. He has a sentence, which he has to serve for 10-12 years of which he has done seven. Unless the full compensation is paid, he won’t be freed,” Ms Bahrami added.
Ms Bahrami is now about thirty and lives in Spain where she has undergone several operations.