“Eye to eye share” – Iranian law on retaliation


Based on Islamic law, which is based on the principle of “eye to eye share”. The man was accused of blinding his neighbor while arguing. In such cases, such a verdict is rare because the victim usually agrees to compensation, but in this case, the victim demanded a literal “eye for an eye”.

A rare court ruling has sentenced an Iranian man – who blinded his neighbor in a quarrel in 2018 – to blindness under Islamic law “eye for an eye”.

The sentence of blindness was rarely handed down in Iran, where this Islamic law was restored after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

In many cases, the victim does not ask for such punishment and the offender for financial compensation, or so-called. Agrees on “blood” money.

But a 40-year-old Tehran man, who was blinded by his neighbor with a knife, demanded retaliation for the law of retaliation in a direct sense.

Islamic law follows the notion of “eye to eye share.” The decisive word belongs to the victim or his family and they can suspend the sentence.

The use of corporal punishment under Islamic law, which includes deportation, amputation and blindness, is the subject of controversy in Iran, where many people criticize such measures as inhumane and cruel.

Human rights groups say such a sentence violates international law and equates torture and ill-treatment of convicts.

“I went through a lot of suffering”

The decree on blinding was reported by the Iranian media in Tehran on October 9. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

The perpetrator, whose identity has not been released, said that when he attacked a neighbor with a knife, he had no intention of blinding him.

But the victim said he was not ready for forgiveness and would not agree to financial compensation.

“I have suffered a lot during these four years and I am not going to forgive,” the man was quoted as saying by Iran’s state-run daily.

The law of retaliation allows the victim and his or her family to seek retaliation in exchange for murder or bodily harm. The punishment in such cases should be commensurate with the crime.

Under Iranian law, the accused has 20 days to appeal his sentence.

“Complete Cruelty”

In the past, victims have agreed to pardon their attackers in exchange for compensation. The accused assailant also faced additional imprisonment.

In a 2011 case that attracted widespread media attention, the court ruled that acid was sprayed into the eyes of a man who blinded a woman and severely mutilated her.

The sentence was not carried out because the victim, Ameneh Bahrami, who had initially supported the sentence and wished to execute it himself, had beaten his assailant. In return, he sought compensation to cover medical expenses.

“The Qur’an gives you the right to retaliate,” Bahrami told RFE / RL’s Iranian Service. “But the same Qur’an also calls for forgiveness, because forgiveness is one of the highest moral norms.”

It is believed that only two sentences of blindness have been issued in Iran since 1979.

According to the daily publication, Hamshahri, relied on by The Guardian, in March 2015, a man accused of blindfolding another man with acid in his eyes was removed by doctors with his left eye.

According to the publication, the man lost consciousness during this procedure.

Activists believe that forcing doctors to enforce a similar sentence violates a medical code of ethics.

In the past, Iranian officials have acknowledged that it was difficult to find doctors who would be willing to serve a similar sentence.

Amnesty International has publicly criticized the sentence, saying it has exposed “the complete brutality of the Iranian judiciary, which underscores the shocking disregard for elemental humanity by the Iranian authorities”.

“Retaliation for a cruel and inhumane punishment involving retaliation is not justice,” said Human Rights Group A.

In November 2016, another man – who attacked a four-year-old girl with lime, a potentially poisonous substance, and lost her eye chin – was blinded in both eyes.

According to Iranian media, the verdict was carried out in the presence of a court official and “relevant specialists”.