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    Posted April 17, 2014 by
    MKarian
    Location
    Tehran, Iran
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

    More from MKarian

    One mother has lost a son the other has been given one back!

     

    Imagine yourself, having the ultimate chance for revenge, to inflict the worst pain you've ever endured on the person who caused it equally. In Iran, this is part of the legal system: Qisas, the sharia law of retribution and retaliation, can be applied literally in some cases. One family had the opportunity. Instead, they did something extraordinary.

     

    A series of dramatic images of a public execution in Iran in which the Iranian murderer was saved from hangman’s noose by victim’s own mother at the last minute.

     

    Balal,17, the convicted Iranian killer due to be hanged for murdering another 17-year-old boy has been spared after the victim's mother had a last-minute change of heart.

     

    It was 7 years ago when Abdollah Hosseinzadeh was fatally stabbed during a street fight in a small town in the northern province of Mazandaran. His murderer, Balal, was 12 years old when he committed the crime so, he was supposed to wait to reach the legal age to be executed.

     

    First the empty chair, then the crowd of assembled onlookers, and the noose hanging listlessly. The accused man, Balal, is hauled out, blindfolded, screaming for his life. As he stands beside the noose, the victim's mother approaches the gallows, slaping him on the cheek. Then she pardons him, sparing his life.

     

    In cases like this—first degree murder--Qiṣāṣ which is an eye for an eye punishment in enforced in Iran.

     

    Since Iran is an Islamic country and according to Sharia law which is the body of Islamic law in the case of murder, Qisas which means the right of a murder victim's heirs to demand the murderer's execution unless the victim’s family pardon it.

     

    In Iran many attributes this saving to Adel Ferdowsipour, a popular football commentator and TV show host, who in his famous tTV program name “90” had called on the couple to forgive the killer.

     

    There's also a high-profile social media campaign at the moment to stop the execution of a 26-year-old woman, Rayhaneh Jabbari, who is due to be hanged for killing a man. She says it was self-defence and that the man was trying to rape her. Almost 146,000 people have signed an online petition, and at least two Facebook pages have been set up in her support. The prominent Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi--the Oscar winner of the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards in Hollywood, February 26, 2012-- has urged the family to pardon her, and the United Nations special rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed has called for a re-trial.

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