Iran acid victim says may spare attacker from blinding

Reuters News
Posted: May 21, 2011 10:18 AM
Iran acid victim says may spare attacker from blinding

TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian woman who was blinded in an acid attack said she would spare her assailant from having the same done to him if he raised 2 million euros ($2.8 million) in compensation, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Ameneh Bahrami was blinded in 2004 when Majid Mohavedi poured acid in her face after she spurned his offers of marriage.

Mohavedi was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to be blinded by the same method. The punishment, scheduled for last week, was postponed without explanation.

The case made headlines around the world, with Amnesty International urging Iran not to go through with inflicting the retributive form of justice allowed under its Islamic law.

In an interview with Sharq daily, Bahrami said she was not responsible for last week's postponement but said she now wanted the punishment delayed further while she underwent facial surgery.

Bahrami, 24 at the time of the attack, said she was also prepared to change her mind about the punishment in exchange for compensation.

"Many people came to ask me either to pardon Majid or postpone the execution of the sentence to find the money that I asked for, but I did not accept because in all these years no one has apologized to me and not even Majid's family took any steps to finance my treatment costs," she was quoted as saying.

"He has taken away everything from me and now I am thinking about his punishment ... I have to bear it to the end of my life, so he should get blinded to understand what I am saying," she added.

Bahrami said she was about to return to Spain to continue facial surgery. "During this time there is time for Majid's family to raise the money that I requested, which is 2 million euros. Then I will change my mind about the retribution," she said in the interview.

A lawyer for Mohavedi thanked Bahrami for her offer but said the family would have huge difficulties finding that amount of money as their only asset was a house in Tehran. Some people had made donations toward the payment he said.

"It is true that Majid's act was catastrophic," Mahdi Rabbani told Sharq.

"It is Ameneh's right to demand much more than 2 million euros to make her life financially secure. Unfortunately Majid's family cannot afford that amount."

(Reporting by Ramin Mostafavi; Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Andrew Heavens)