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Rights group urges Iran not to blind woman's attacker with acid

By the CNN Wire Staff
Majid Movahedi was convicted in 2008 of throwing acid at a woman who rejected his advances.
Majid Movahedi was convicted in 2008 of throwing acid at a woman who rejected his advances.
  • NEW: ISNA: The acid punishment is postponed
  • Majid Movahedi was convicted in 2008 of an acid attack on a woman
  • He was sentenced to have five drops of acid in both eyes

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- A human rights group on Saturday urged Iranian authorities not to put acid in the eyes of a man found guilty of blinding a woman who scorned him.

Majid Movahedi is scheduled to be blinded by having five drops of acid in each eye Saturday, according to Amnesty International.

It was unclear what time -- or whether -- the punishment will take place Saturday. The semiofficial Iranian Students' News Agency, or ISNA, reported Saturday that the acid punishment had been postponed and another date hadn't been established.

Movahedi was convicted in 2008 of throwing a bucket of acid on Ameneh Bahrami.

The attack blinded Bahrami, who sought to have authorities render the ancient punishment of "an eye for an eye" in accordance with Islamic law.

The rights group is urging Iran to forgo the acid punishment.

"It is unbelievable that the Iranian authorities would consider implementing such a punishment," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, an Amnesty International deputy director.

"Regardless of how horrific the crime suffered by Ameneh Bahrami, being blinded with acid is a cruel and inhuman punishment amounting to torture, and the Iranian authorities have a responsibility under international law to ensure it does not go ahead."

Bahrami said it has been very difficult for her since the attack.

She says she first met Movahedi in 2002 when they attended the same school.

She was a 24-year-old electronics student. He was 19. She never noticed him until he sat next to her in class and brushed up against her. Bahrami says she knew it wasn't an accident.

"I moved away from him," she said, "but he brushed up against me again."

Bahrami said that over the next two years, Movahedi harassed her and made threats, even asking her to marry him.

"He told me he would kill me. He said, 'You have to say yes.' "

On a November afternoon in 2004, his threats turned to violence when he followed her from the medical engineering company where she worked.

As she walked to the bus stop, she sensed someone behind her.

She turned around and was startled to see Movahedi, who threw something over her. What felt like fire on her face was acid searing through her skin.

"I was just yelling, 'I'm burning! I'm burning! For God's sake, somebody help me,' " she said.

The acid seeped into her eyes, and streamed down her face into her mouth. When she covered her face with her hands, streaks of acid ran down her fingers and onto her forearms.

In 2009, Bahrami told CNN that she had undergone more than a dozen surgeries on her badly scarred face, but still imagined that in the future she would have a wedding day.

"I always see myself as someone who can see and sometimes see myself in a beautiful wedding gown, and why not?" She said.

CNN's Reza Sayah contributed to this report.