Protester Mehdi Mousavian on Hunger Strike Against Planned Eye for an Eye Gouging

Jan. 26, 2024, 7:18 p.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); January 26, 2024: Protester Mehdi Mousavian has begun a hunger strike in protest against his scheduled eye for an eye punishment.

IHRNGO Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam previously said: "Blinding as a form of punishment is a medieval practice that the Islamic Republic uses to intimidate society. The United Nations should not tolerate blinding as a form of punishment by any of its member states in 2024. We want the international community and all countries with diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic to convey this message that implementing such a punishment will have serious consequences for the Islamic Republic."

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, 2017 protester Mehdi Mousavian has begun a hunger strike in Shahre Kord Prison in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province against his scheduled eye gouging as retribution-in-kind for allegedly blinding a policeman by throwing a stone.

An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “Mehdi Mousavian’s demand is for his retribution-in-kind eye gouging sentence to be overturned. He insists that he’s innocent, that he didn’t throw that stone.”

Seyed Mehdi Mousavian was arrested on 31 December 2017 for allegations of throwing a stone at a policeman during a protest in Farokhshahr, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province. The stone is reported to have blinded the policeman in the left eye.

Despite denying the charges, Mehdi was tried on 27 January 2019 and sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind). In cases of qisas, the victim or their next of kin must choose between retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness.

The policeman had demanded 14 billion tomans (around $280k) which Mehdi’s family are unable to afford. He has now requested retribution, or an eye for an eye as Mehdi is scheduled to be blinded in the left eye in Shahre Kord in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province in the coming days.