An Eye for an Eye: Justice or Injustice, Poetic or Barbaric?
Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of
sulfuric acid over [Ameneh Bahrami’s] head, leaving her blind and
disfigured. Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops
of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker’s eyes, acceding
to Bahrami’s demand that he be punished according to a principle in
Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a
crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.
If you’re not familiar with acid attacks against women, you can start with Wikipedia.
Perpetrators of these attacks throw acid at their victims
(usually at their faces), burning them, damaging skin tissue, often
exposing and sometimes dissolving the bones. The consequences of these
attacks include blindness and permanent scarring of the face and body.
These attacks are common in Cambodia, Afganistan, India, Bangladesh,
Pakistan, and other Asian countries.
Acid attacks are being used in Afghanistan against women and girls to as part of an effort to oppress them. Specifically, girls who attend school are being targeted to prevent them from getting an education.
In India, Haseena Hussain, the victim of an acid attack, now works with the Campaign and Struggle Against Acid Attacks on Women (CSAAAW).
In Pakistan, a cosmetics company is trying to help women who are the victims of arson and acid attacks.
Nicholas Kristof wrote an article about acid attacks last month, “Terrorism That’s Personal” which discusses a Pakistani organization, the Progressive Women’s Association:
Fighting Against the Horror of Violence Against Women working to stop
this sort of violence and an effort being made by the US Congress to
pass the International Violence Against Women Act.