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Iranian mother praised for ultimate act of mercy

25th Apr 2014
Iranian mum praised for ultimate act of mercy
Killer’s and victims’ (R) mothers embrace following a dramatic and emotional last minute reprieve from the latter


Elham Asaad Buaras

An Iranian mother has received world-wide praise for her “powerful act of forgiveness” after she spared her son’s killer during what was supposed to have been his public execution.

Compelling photos show the act of mercy came at the last minute for the man identified only as Balal: the noose was around his neck, and he was blindfolded.

Seven years ago Balal, who is in his 20s, stabbed 18-year-old Abdollah Hosseinzadeh during a street brawl in Royan, in the northern province of Mazandaran.

In a literal application of qisas, the law of retribution, the victim’s family was to participate in Balal’s punishment by pushing the chair on which he stood. But when the victim’s mother approached to kick the chair from beneath him she merely slapped him before removing the noose.

Poignantly Balal’s mother hugged the victim’s mother, the pair were also photographed sobbing. In subsequent pictures, Balal’s mom and other relatives are seen approaching Abdollah’s family members.

The victim’s father, Abdolghani revealed his wife had a change of heart after her dead son appeared to her in a dream. He said: “Three days ago, my wife saw my elder son in a dream telling her that they are in a good place and for her not to retaliate. This calmed my wife and we decided to think more until the day of the execution.”

As photos of the incident by the Iranian news agency ISNA circulated, social media users around the world praised the mother for her act of forgiveness.

“I don’t know if I could muster the courage to forgive someone who killed one of my children. A lot of respect should go to that display of humanity,” wrote one Daily Mail reader. “I have to respect this lady for her incredible act of forgiveness. She is a better woman than I. RIP.”

“Wow, what an amazing woman” simply wrote another. “Hope for humanity” said another twitter user.

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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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