Under President Ebrahim Raisi, known as ‘The Butcher of Tehran’, Iran’s Government has adopted a hardline approach to criminal justice and punishments. Now a 45-year-old man was sentenced to being blinded for leaving his neighbour unable to see after a fight between the two.
The sentence was carried out under Iran’s legal principle of retribution, known as ‘qisas’, which allows criminals convicted of violent offences to be subjected to a form of retaliation.
The 45-year-old left his neighbour blind in one eye during a brawl between the two in Fasham in 2018.
Iranian reports did not specify if the defendant is to be blinded in one eye like his injured neighbour or in both.
Blinding has been used as a punishment before in Iran although it is still considered rare.
Iran’s penal code is partly based on punishments listed under sharia law as interpreted by the Twelver Shia Muslim clergy.
Human rights groups have regularly criticised Iran for handing down corporal punishments and amputations to convicted criminals.
In 2015, Iranian doctors gouged the eye out of a convict who had also committed an acid attack.
In 2016, a man received the punishment after he threw lime into the eyes of his niece, who was only four-years-old at the time and was left blinded by the attack.
Mr Raisi, who became Iran’s President on August 3, previously served as the country’s Chief Justice from 2019 to 2021.
He was named by former Deputy Supreme Leader Hussein-Ali Montazeri as one of the four people on the prosecution committee, which was responsible for the execution of thousands of political prisoners in Iran in 1988, leading to his nickname as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’.
The executions of political prisoners started on July 19 1988, and lasted for approximately five months, with more than 30,000 people being killed according to The Telegraph.
Amnesty International said in June Mr Raisi must be investigated for crimes against humanity.
Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.”
In his first speech to the United Nations, Mr Raisi raged against US sanctions against Iran.
The President is one of nine Iranian officials listed in November 2019 subjected to sanctions by the US Department of State due to human rights abuses.
He said: “Sanctions are the U.S.’ new way of war with the nations of the world.”
In a dig at the political slogans used by former President Donald Trump and his successor President Joe Biden, Mr Raisi also said: “Today, the world doesn’t care about “America First” or “America is Back.”
It comes as Struan Stevenson, former Tory MEP for Scotland, called for Mr Raisi to be “arrested for genocide and crimes against humanity if he comes to Scotland” for the COP26 summit.
He said: “Today, I want to send the clearest possible message to Ebrahim Raisi.
“His crimes will not be forgotten or forgiven. His victims and their families demand justice.
“He will be held to account for crimes against humanity, murder, human rights violation and genocide.”