Woman Blinded By Acid Attack Wants Same Fate For Attacker

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Ameneh Bahrami is certain that one day she'll meet someone, fall in love and get married. But when her wedding day comes, her husband won't see her eyes, and she won't see her husband. Bahrami is blind, the victim of an acid attack by a spurned suitor.

If she gets her way, her attacker will suffer the same fate. The 31-year-old Iranian is demanding the ancient punishment of "an eye for an eye," and, in accordance with Islamic law, she wants to blind Majid Movahedi, the man who blinded her.

"I don't want to blind him for revenge," Bahrami said in her parents' Tehran apartment. "I'm doing this to prevent it from happening to someone else." 

Read the full story here (but be warned, some of the video of how the acid destroyed Bahrami's eyes includes disturbing images).

A Just Punishment Or A Violation Of Human Rights?

Bahrami's demand has outraged some human rights activists. Criticizing acid-attack victims is almost unheard of, but some Internet bloggers have condemned Bahrami's decision.

"We cannot condone such cruel punishment," wrote one blogger. "To willingly inflict the same treatment on a person under court order is a violation of human rights."

Late last year, an Iranian court gave Bahrami what she asked for. It sentenced Movahedi to be blinded with drops of acid in each eye. This month, the courts rejected Movahedi's appeal.

Bahrami's lawyer, Sarrafi, said the sentencing might be carried out in a matter of weeks. He said he doesn't think Bahrami will change her mind. Neither does Bahrami.

"If I don't do this and there is another acid attack, I will never forgive myself for as long as I live," she said.

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'A Universal Problem'

This story has surfaced in Western media in the same week that the co-founder of an Islamic cable TV channel is facing second-degree murder charges in the beheading of his wife, and it follows hot on the heels of the 'celeb-fest' coverage of an alleged assault on singer Rihanna by her singer-boyfriend Chris Brown.

Such stories bring more attention to the never-ending problem of violence against women and domestic abuse that is often 'excused' as a part of many marriages or relationships. As "The Vagina Monologues" creator Eve Ensler commented recently, "We are still living in a world where the victim — the woman — is blamed.  It's not a cultural thing. Violence against women keeps patriarchy and its oppression and domination in its place.  It keeps a structure where men and women can't live in their full selves.  It's in every social strata and in every section of society."

Domestic Violence And Disabled Women

From 'The F Word"

It is a well known fact among women’s networks and feminists that two women die every week at the hands of their partner or former partner and that disabled women are twice as likely as non-disabled women to experience domestic violence.

These statistics continue to shock (and unfortunately continue to be true) as campaigners, practitioners and women rally against the violence against women that still exists in our society.

Disabled women experience oppression and violence under the controlling power of a partner or carer, and they also experience the loss of self-worth and confidence that is literally battered out of a woman by a violent partner or carer. However, disabled women can also experience further barriers that don’t have to be there when trying to leave and escape a violent relationship.

Many disability and disabled people’s organisations (and other organisations like the police) refer to the ‘Protection of Vulnerable Persons from Neglect and Abuse’ policy when dealing with issues like disabled women and domestic violence. This is a policy that seeks to minimise abuse to service users in places like residential homes. I have two issues with the employment of this policy when thinking about domestic violence. Firstly, the policy doesn’t treat domestic violence as a specific occurance or recognise the specificity of domestic violence, and secondly disabled women who experience domestic violence are not necessarily vulnerable people per se - they are women in a vulnerable situation just as non-disabled women are.

Read more on this essay at The F Word

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Comments

How is it that the gruesome beheading of a woman, (a tactic usually employed by extremist Muslim terrorists) following numerous domestic violence calls to police, only rates a second-degree murder charge with a possible sentence of 15 years to life?

Should Ameneh Bahrami's wish for "an eye for an eye" punishment be carried against her attacker, or do you feel it's a violation of human rights?

Tell us what you think - send your thoughts to Comments@LauraAndWagner.com, and the moderated responses will appear below . . .