Good evening, friends. We hear much about the reformation of the hardened criminal. It rarely happens that way; once the criminal has crossed the borderline into dishonesty, it seems that he can't resist the temptation to turn another trick. It's very discouraging to police officers to spend so much time and so much taxpayer money to capture a bandit, and then have him turned loose by the parole system after a short jail sentence. Police know only too well that they will soon pick up evidence that the so-called 'reformed criminal' has returned to his erring ways. Police records are full of cases of men and women arrested again and again and again. Police know that most major crimes are committed by experienced criminals who have police records. Tonight's story tells of a band of holdup men composed, with one exception, of ex-convicts. It gives a typical example of how these men, whose minds have already been poisoned against law and order, delight in pitting their strength against the law enforcement agencies. Their punishment by the courts does not teach them a lesson. As you will see, it is necessary for your police department to keep a watch on all known criminals and convicts, and it is from their ranks that police make most arrests. I hope that the moral taught by tonight's program will be instrumental in keeping many potential law violators from making that dangerous first step. I fear that, having once tasted the forbidden fruits of crime, it is almost impossible to return to a respectable life, and that the police must arrest the criminally inclined again and again, if necessary, until they have been put behind bars for good.
Ameneh Bahrami has been waiting a long time for the justice she seeks. In 2004, while she was returning home from work, a man named Majid Movahedi threw a bucketful of acid into her face, leaving her blinded and also horribly disfigured. Bahrami had repeatedly turned down Movahedi's proposals of marriage, which included promises to kill her unless she consented; but instead of carrying out that threat, Movahedi decided that if he couldn't have her, then he would make sure that no other man would desire her.
The Iranian courts determined on a fine and prison sentence for Movahedi, but his victim insisted that she was entitled by law to qisas (retribution) because, in her words, "only this way will he understand my pain". In 2008 she won her case, after which Movahedi's lawyers launched a number of appeals, all of which were unsuccessful.
On 14 May 2011, Bahrami's wish would be carried out. Movahedi was to be taken to Tehran's Judiciary Hospital and there, under full anaesthetic, have a few drops of acid put into each of his eyes, rendering him blind.
At this point, the issue suddenly became of more than local concern. Amnesty International declared that such a sentence "amounted to torture"; the British Foreign Office protested, saying (presumably on behalf of the British people) that "we are deeply concerned by reports that Majid Movahedi's sentence of being blinded by having acid dripped into his eyes may be carried out". Surprisingly, given its known contempt for both the British government and Western human rights organisations, the Iranian authorities intervened to block the judicial blinding of Movahedi.
If the Foreign Office intervention truly reflected the view of the nation it represents, then we in Britain would now be heaving a collective sigh of relief that Majid Movahedi has been preserved from his victim's retribution. Yet I can't say that I am greatly relieved; my empathy remains wholly with Ameneh Bahrami, who not only lives with a dreadful unappeased pain, but who is unable, because of her blindness, to work as the engineer she qualified to be.
Labels: Natural law = Sharia law
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