Eye for An Eye: Iranian Supreme Court Upholds Sentence To Pour Acid In Eyes of Defendant

We have been following the grotesque sentencings handed down under Sharia law’s medieval principle of “an eye for an eye,” including the recent variation of a spine for a spine. One such case previously discussed involved an Iranian court ordering that acid be dropped in the eyes of an Iranian man after he blinded the husband of his lover. Now, that sentence has been reviewed and upheld by Iran’s highest courts as perfectly proper under Sharia law.

In Iran, the “an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth” principle is called “qisas” and the victim can withdraw the demand if the accused pays the “blood money” that they demand. This is all enforced by Iran’s “courts.”

The man is identified in these papers only as Mojtaba, and he allegedly threw acid in the face of Alireza, a taxi driver, after an illicit affair with the victim’s wife, Mojdeh. The crime occurred in Iran’s religious center, the city of Qom.

Iran’s supreme court agreed with Qom’s prosecutor, Mostafa Barzegar Ganji, that this is what is demanded by the Koran (Qu’ran).

In a bizarre effort to appear moderate, the prosecutors noted that they intend to enlist “forensic specialists to oversee the blinding by acid.

Notably, in the Saudi case, two hospitals refused to carry out the surgery to sever the spine of the man (and issue of medical ethics that we discussed at the time of the sentencing). It is not clear if the sentence was carried out.

In Egypt, however, surgeons did remove one eye in punishment for an acid attack.

Just one more example of the dangers of the lack of separation between church and state.

Source: Daily Mail

Jonathan Turley

40 thoughts on “Eye for An Eye: Iranian Supreme Court Upholds Sentence To Pour Acid In Eyes of Defendant”

  1. SWM,

    I heard the British are pursuing the appeal after the Swedes have said no…I wonder, wonder why?

  2. Mike S, it’s so nice to have you posting.

    “…at what point in assessing a culture do you decide its’ dis-functionality?”

    Star Trek answers all questions. A society becomes dis-functional when the needs of the few are allowed to outweigh the needs of the many. Just how dis-functional, up to and including weather the society has effectively ceased to exist and/or its edifices, political, philosophical etc. should be allowed to continue to exist, would depend IMO on weighing the various factors. How many, how few, long/short term harm to stated goals of the society, cost to the individual v benefit to the herd etc.

    If we formed ourselves up into societies to protect the many, for the good of the herd in other words, and erected various edifices to facilitate that aim like religions, governments, political philosophies, education, a military; then when the society stops working for the good of the herd it’s in a dis-functional state. IMO, the US in a a dis-functional state as a country and it’s edifices serve the needs of the few while in major part disregarding the needs of the many.

    But I’m a fan of Democratic Socialism.

    Is there a specific in mind that a more through and reasoned argument can be brought to bear upon?

  3. I have a question for all on this. I’ve had a lifelong belief that all cultures have something to offer their fellow humans and that we could learn and evolve if we recognized this.or me intellectua However, when you see things like this, repression of women, slavery, genocide and other cruelties which all cultures are capable of, at what point in assessing a culture do you decide its’ dis-functionality? My query represents a genuine intellectual conundrum for me, although emotionally I am enraged against behavior such as this.

  4. Swarthmore mom,

    Yep. Mighty strange, isn’t it… And as you correctly point out — he’s only been “accused”, not charged.

  5. I guess we don’t know if Julian Assange is a rapist or not, but we do know that those that are accused of rape are not usually placed in solitary confinement.

  6. I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t going to be the best day in the life of Lt. Brian Villiard…

    (Manning’s mother is British and he has dual citizenship, which was news to me. I wonder how this might factor into the prosecution equation, if at all.)

  7. Greenwald’s promised piece on Bradley Manning:

    Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010 02:15 ET
    The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention

    By Glenn Greenwald


    “Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.”

  8. So, if I get caught having pre-marital relations with the woman I love, according to the “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” law, I would be punished by having the woman I love have pre-marital relations with me?

  9. Thank goodness for Naomi Wolf’s ability to clarify my inarticulate anxieties about this aspect of the Assange case:

    “J’Accuse: Sweden, Britain and Interpol Insult Rape Vitims Worldwide”

    “How do I know that Interpol, Britain and Sweden’s treatment of Julian Assange is a form of theater? Because I know what happens in rape accusations against men that don’t involve the embarrassing of powerful governments.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in solitary confinement in Wandsworth prison in advance of questioning on state charges of sexual molestation. Lots of people have opinions about the charges. But I increasingly believe that only those of us who have spent years working with rape and sexual assault survivors worldwide, and know the standard legal response to sex crime accusations, fully understand what a travesty this situation is against those who have to live through how sex crime charges are ordinarily handled — and what a deep, even nauseating insult this situation is to survivors of rape and sexual assault worldwide. …”


    I was pointed to this article by Boing Boing, a blawg that I enjoy immensely.

  10. IMO Manning will be indicted for treason and turned over to a military tribunal where he won’t be allowed to speak or have a civilian lawyer. If, as Anon Nurse stated above, he doesn’t commit suicide first.

  11. puzzling,

    The truth-out article is a good one — I highly recommend it.

    You said, “If Manning survives his detention to ever speak in front of a court he will likely be a profoundly altered individual.”

    If he is “profoundly altered”, we’ll probably never see him again. More likely, we would hear of his death by “suicide.” Many Americans would buy that.. and some would celebrate it.

  12. Jill and Anon,

    I can only speculate on what Greenwald may reveal, but I expect torture in 2010 may also employ psychoactive, mind-altering drugs, perhaps like those recently understood to have been used at Guantanamo.

    If Manning survives his detention to ever speak in front of a court he will likely be a profoundly altered individual. Assange risks the same destruction once he is turned over to US authorities by Sweden, as do other Wikileaks associates who will be rounded up. The “intelligence” coerced in this process is likely to start a broader manhunt through certain communities, particularly for those who may have possessed the insurance file key. No doubt that Assange does not know the names of everyone (or everything) that may have that key for just such a reason.

  13. Re Scalia: only if it’s done to the child of someone we have imprisoned! (Well, O.K., it’s pretty good to do it to the person who’s imprisoned, but their child would be a lot more satisfying!)

  14. ggreenwald Glenn Greenwald

    A major story brewing is the cruel, inhumane treatment – torture – to which Bradley Manning is being subjected: more to come shortly.

    The above is, reportedly, a Greenwald tweet… (I’ll try to retrieve the actual tweet…)

Comments are closed.