By Ralph Ellis
(CNN) — Iran’s judicial system believes in the ancient concept of “an eye for an eye” — literally.
On Tuesday, a man convicted of blinding another man in an acid attack was himself forcibly blinded in one eye, according to Amnesty International and Tasnim News, a semi-official news website.
The punishment is believed to be Iran’s first case of Qasas, meaning retribution in kind, Tasnim News said.
Amnesty International denounced the sentence.
“This punishment exposes the utter brutality of Iran’s justice system and underlines the Iranian authorities’ shocking disregard for basic humanity,” said Raha Bahreini, Amnesty International’s Iran researcher. “Meting out cruel and inhuman retribution punishments is not justice. Blinding, like stoning, amputation and flogging, is a form of corporal punishment prohibited by international law. Such punishments should not be carried out under any circumstances.”
The acid attacker had been hired by the victim’s wife to throw acid in his face, Tasnim News said. Amnesty International said the attack occurred in 2009 in the city of Qom.
The defendant was blinded in his left eye at Rajai Shahr Prison, but the blinding of his right eye was postponed, Amnesty International said. The man was ordered to pay “blood money” and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Amnesty International said punishment has been delayed for another Iranian man in a “retribution in kind” case. That man had been sentenced to be blinded and made deaf, Amnesty International said.
CNN’s Shirzad Bozorgmehr in Tehran and Elwyn Lopez in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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