An eye for an eye: justice for Ameneh Bahrami

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

An horrific acid attack on Ameneh Bahrami by the man she turned down for marriage has left her blind and disfigured, and much unease hanging over Iran’s legal system. According to the country’s laws, Ms Bahrami is allowed to ask the court for retribution, and she insisted on her rights. Accordingly last week she was due to drop acid into the eyes of her attacker, Majid Movahedi and blind him. But at the 11th hour the sentence was postponed. It is not known now what will happen.
Though some argue in favor of letting the victim of a crime demand ‘blood money’ – especially those who believe that sentencing in some countries is too lenient – when it comes to putting it into practice, as has nearly happened in this case, there is unease. There is unease over the victim having the final say over the sentence, and unease of how barbaric the punishments can be, as in this case. Not surprisingly there is a whole range of opinion on how Ameneh Bahrami should be given justice. Iran’s lawmakers need wisdom. And in this debate it is important that Christians remind their country men that Jesus taught there is a higher law than brutal revenge: ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.’

Pray for

• Wisdom for Iran’s law makers in this case, and others
• Christ to visit both Ameneh Bahrami and Majid Movahedi
• Rule of law always to be above all citizens.