A 45-year-old man in Tehran province has been sentenced to blinding, Mashreq News reports.

The punishment was handed down in accordance with the Iranian legal principle of qisas (retribution), in which those convicted of violent crimes can be subjected to retaliation in kind – or quite literally, “an eye for an eye”.

According to Mashreq, which is affiliated with Iran’s security agencies, the defendant in this case got into a fight with a neighbour in Fasham, a city in Tehran province.

The other party, a 40-year-old man, was badly beaten up and lost the sight in his right eye. The case was sent to Tehran’s criminal court after he lodged a complaint.

Blinding has been deployed as a very rare criminal punishment in Iran since in the past decade.

In November 2008, the sentence was issued for the first time to a man convicted of carrying out an acid attack in Tehran. But his victim, Ameneh Bahrami, decided to pardon him at the eleventh hour.

Then in March 2015, medics gouged out the eye of another acid attacker in Karaj. A man from Qorveh, Kurdistan province, was also blinded in both eyes in November 2016 for throwing lime into the face of his four-year-old niece, blinding her.

At the time of the first cases, Amnesty International called the punishment “horrific” and said the Iranian judiciary was displaying “disregard of the basic principles of humanity."

The Islamic Penal Code in Iran is partly based on criminal punishments detailed in Sharia law, as interpreted by the country’s Twelver Shia clergy. In the 21st century, few countries other than Iran still implement qisas.

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