An Iranian woman blinded with acid by her suitor for turning down his marriage proposal spared him at the last minute from being blinded too as punishment for his crime, Iranian media reported on Sunday.
Ameneh Bahrami lost her sight in 2004 when Majid Mohavedi poured acid onto her face after she spurned his offers of marriage.
In 2008, a court sentenced Mohavedi to be blinded in both eyes for taking away Bahrami’s sight, using the principle of retribution permitted under Iran’s Islamic law.
“I have been trying for seven years to get the qisas (retribution) sentence, but today I decided to pardon him,” Ameneh was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
Ameneh said the international interest in the case was one reason for deciding to drop her demand for the sentence of retribution to be carried out.
“It seemed like the entire world was waiting to see what we did,” she said.
Rights group Amnesty International urged Iran not to inflict the punishment.
Pegah Ahangarani. Image by deutsche-welle via Flickr
After seventeen days Iranian celebrity and dissident Pegah Ahangarani has been released from Iranian custody, German-language radio Deutche Welle reports.
Hamid Hekmat, Ahangarani’s expatriate uncle, confirmed Wednesday his niece has been released on bail for $83,000. The charges against her remain unclear.
“Yesterday evening the family was told that they she could be brought home now. She is free at last,” Hekmat said. But Ahangarani’s uncle was unable able to give precise information about the condition of the actor, writer and film-maker. Continue reading →
A Japanese heavy machinery manufacturer said it has cut business ties with the Iranian government following a report that its cranes have been used for public executions.
The company’s announcement came several days after United Against Nuclear Iran President Mark D. Wallace published an op-ed in Los Angeles Times where he names the Japanese Tadano company as one of several companies exporting cranes to Iran.
…As part of the campaign, United Against Nuclear Iran published on its website a list of seven international manufacturers exporting cranes and other heavy equipment to Iran, along with pictures of the cranes being used for public executions.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution however, the Islamic Republic has been hell bent on its anti-Iranian agenda. The regime fears all symbols of pre-Islamic Iran. In recent weeks, this anti-Iranian agenda has manifested itself in removing wall paintings that depicted the Epic stories of Shahnameh (Book of Kings) in Mashad, the removal of the statues of another Iranian legendary figure, Arash in Sari and now they want to remove the statue of Ariobarzanes in Yassuj.
Last month, Youcef Nardarkhani, an Iranian pastor convicted of apostasy for leaving Islam, had his death sentence for apostasy upheld and confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court.
On July 3, Pastor Youcef’s lawyer reported that his case was being returned to the Revolutionary Tribunal of Gilan Province and that the Supreme Court would annul the sentence if Youcef renounced his faith.
Iranian Christians are emphasizing, however, that reports indicating Pastor Youcef’s case has already been annulled are misleading, as the annulment is dependent on him recanting his faith and embracing Islam (sources include Middle East Concern, Mohabat News and Present Truth Ministries).
According to Amnesty International, Iran has admitted executing 190 people between January and the end of June this year; an additional 130 reported executions have gone unacknowledged. These figures put Iran on course for a record year for capital punishment. In 2010, 252 people were executed, according to official figures, with 300 more also believed to have been killed.
Iran Human Rights, an independent monitoring organisation, claims the true picture is much worse. It says 25 people were hanged in one day – 3 July – in Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj, west of Tehran. The hangings, supposedly all drug-related, were not reported by official media. The same report said another seven people were hanged the same day in Evin prison in Tehran. It alluded to further uncorroborated mass executions in prisons in Khorasan province in 2010.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, another independent pressure group, reported last month that 26 inmates of Vakilabad prison in Mashhad were hanged on 15 June. It quoted the Mashhad prosecutor, Mahmoud Zoghi, as admitting “high numbers of executions” over the past two-and-a-half years. Zoghi said the rise was due to a high volume of drug trafficking cases. “The execution statistics are proportionate and foreign media unjustifiably exaggerate in this subject,” he said.
The number of public hangings is also on the increase. Since the start of 2011, up to 13 men have been executed in public, eight of them since 16 April, an Amnesty report this year stated. Iran meanwhile reportedly defied international law by executing two juveniles offenders, in Bandar Abbas on 20 April. Overall, Iran’s execution “average” is running at almost two people per day in 2011, making the regime the world’s number two executioner after China.
Iran will hear the case against three Americans detained for nearly two years on spying charges on July 31, their lawyer told Reuters on Tuesday, and he said he hoped a final decision on their case will be made then. Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were arrested by Iranian forces on July 31, 2009, on suspicion of spying after crossing into Iran from neighboring Iraq.