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On air at 1100GMT: Iran acid attack - an eye for an eye?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:43 UK time, Friday, 13 May 2011

A man who blinded a woman by throwing acid in her face in Iran, after she rejected his marriage proposal is preparing to face the same fate.

Iran's Supreme Court has upheld the controversial sentence against Majid Movahedi, who attacked Ameneh Bahrami six years ago. Amineh has demanded that Majid should be blinded too. She told the BBC's Persian TV she wants to carry out the sentence herself.

"They told me there will be a doctor who will carry out the sentence but I said no I really want to do it myself. Let me do it first and if it didn't work, the doctor can complete the operation"

Even by the tough standards of Iran's judiciary system this is an unusual case. The country has one of the highest death penalty rates in the world, and there have been high profile cases recently involving stonings or amputations.

But nonetheless Iranian public opinion is divided about the verdict -- as is Ameneh's family. Arguments about punishment, fairness, deterrence and revenge are being used by those who both sides of the debate.

For their part, the family of Majid Movahedi, who have repeatedly pleaded for mercy, are preparing themselves for the daunting prospect of their son's being forcefully blinded on Saturday.

The father of Majid Movahedi told BBC's Persian Service he is prepared to go to any lengths to change Ameneh's mind.

"We accept that our son made a mistake. He did wrong. I have said from day one that this verdict is Ameneh's right. She can have it carried out whenever she wishes. Ameneh has said we never apologised. They told us to stay away otherwise we would have been at their door begging for forgiveness everyday. This case has brought us nothing but shame"

Brenda posts on Facebook

Can't help thinking of one of Mahatma Ghandi's quotes- an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Catherine also on Facebook says

Blinding someone like that is no accident. If you value your eyes, stay away from other people's eyes

Does the punishment fit the crime? Is justice being done?

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