Ameneh Behrami is the victim of a horrific acid attack that left her blind and badly disfigured. Under Iranian law, the court ordered her attacker blinder but still the punishment is not being carried out. Here is the story of her relentless quest for justice.
Ameneh Behrami was a very beautiful, independent Iranian girl doing her engineering studies as well as working at a lab in Tehran. She used to get a lot of marriage proposals from a lot of boys, from their families and one day she got a marriage proposal from a lady for her son Majid Movahidi, whom she had never seen. But she refused to marry him.
Later she was traced by Majid at the university and they had a strong heated argument but still she was unaware of the pursuer’s name. Later she started getting threatening phone calls, first from his mother later from the accused himself stating she will not marry anyone else. As it had become difficult for her to survive she made a complaint to the police but the police authorities couldn’t do anything with respect to this as there has been no physical harm so far.
One day when she was returning back home she had a feeling that someone is following her and hence to avoid that she slowed down so that the person can pass by but later when that person came nearer she realized that it was the same Majid but this time he had a smile on his face . Within seconds she realized that something is being thrown to her face first she thought it’s the hot water but later she realized that it is not hot water but its acid. By the time she reached hospital her left eye sight had been lost, her nose, lips had been lost. Later her right eye also got infection and its eyes sight was also subsequently lost.
She later approached the then president Mohammad Khatami, and with his support she travelled to Barcelona for specialist treatment to regain the sight in her right eye. She had to suffer a lot in between. Later in the year 2007, when she returned back to Iran after the treatment, she approached the court to seek for justice. She claimed for retributive justice which was legal in Iran under the Sharia code of qisas, but it is rarely used.
Bahrami won her case in 2008,when the court ruled that the 27 year old Mohavidi should be blinded with acid. He was also sentenced to jail as well as asked to pay compensation to the victim. The Iranian authorities were hesitant to carry out the blinding, but after years of delay, the punishment was scheduled for 14th May. But the punishment could not be carried out as they could not find any doctors ready to do this. Mohavidi is still in prison awaiting for the punishment to carry off. And Ameneh Bahrami is in Barcelona undergoing further facial reconstruction with the financial assistance of a US based charity. But she is determined to pursue the ruling. Still she is fighting for justice.
Report by Alka