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Iranian Supreme Court upholds "eye-for-eye" sentence

[JURIST] Iranian daily newspaper Etemaad is reporting that the Iranian Supreme Court [official website] has rejected the appeal of a man, known only as Vahid, sentenced to have his eyes surgically gouged out for throwing battery acid in the face of another man during a fight 12 years ago. The court judged the crime on "Qesas" [Islamic law backgrounder], a Koranic term for strictly defined penalties where the judge has no discretion. Originally, the sentence called for acid to be sprayed into Vahid's eyes, but his lawyers argued the rest of his face could be damaged. Vahid could escape punishment by paying $330,000 in blood money, which he does not have. Human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have denounced the sentence [press release] as "judicial torture," but say that these punishments are rarely carried out and are used as leverage in collecting financial compensation for the victim. IRIN has more.

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