Suspicious death of woman accusing Iranian MP of sexual abuse

Zahra Navidpour
Zahra Navidpour (right) an alleged victim of sexual misconduct by Iranian MP Salman khdadadi (left). Navidpour died January 6, 2019 and suspicions fall on the lawmaker.

The lifeless body of a woman who accused an Iranian MP of raping her, was found at her mother’s home in East Azarbaijan Province on January 6, 2018.

She was immediately transferred to hospital but did not have any signs of life.

Zahra Navidpour, 28, had been repeatedly raped by Salman Khodadadi, the representative of the Malekan in the regime’s parliament.

No report has been published definitely indicating the reason for Zahra Navidpour’s death. Her family are still waiting on a report from the medical examiner.

After the death of her father, Zahra Navidpour ran into financial problems and was unemployed.

To find a job, she referred to the governorate of Malekan where Salman Khodadadi, the incumbent deputy of Malekan in Majlis, promised to get her hired in the Accounting Court of Tehran.

When Zahra Navidpour travelled to Tehran and went to Khodadadi’s office in Vali-Asr Square, she was locked up, harassed and subsequently raped by Khodadadi. Then, she was threatened and warned against telling anybody about the incident.

Zahra Navidpour was reportedly raped repeatedly afterwards by the same official.

She incidentally learned from another friend that she had been violated, too, and that there were a number of girls who had not complained about this fearing their lives.

According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, she had told the human rights group that she was constantly being threatened by her rapist, Salman Khodadadi, the chairman of the parliament’s Social Commission and those affiliated with him.

The human rights group said that Zahra Navidpour had written a letter to the judge presiding over her rape suit case stating that her “life was in danger.”

The Human Rights Activists News Agency has published substantial evidence including her letter in its report.

Salman Khodadadi has been arrested and detained a number of times on charges of raping his secretary and another woman who was his constituency.

Navidpour had filed and followed up her complaint on a number of occasions, but every time was ignored by government officials and threatened to go back home and remain silent.

The first court session to see to her rape complaint was carried out in her absence and only with the Khodadadi presence. According to Zahra Navidpour, it became clear in the second session that Khodadadi had denied all the charges. The second session was held In the absence of Khodadadi.

In the next court session on October 6, 2018, which was held by the 1st Branch of the Tehran Penal Court, Salman Khodadadi was present with five lawyers while Zahra had none.

The MP was released on bail an hour later. The judge told Navidpour that based on the evidence, a decision would be issued in 10 days and that they would contact her.

The case was never pursued after that. She even contacted the Guardian Council, a powerful body tasked with approving Majlis (Iran’s parliament) candidates among other things.

On October 29, she once again told the human rights group that her life was in danger.

“None of the government bodies care what happens to me. They only think of him. I have no security. I’ve been hiding out for the past eight days because I fear for my life. Who should I talk to? Who will listen to me?” she said.

Zahra Navidpour had previously spoken about her complaint. She said, “Since April 23, 2018, when I filed my complaint, I have contacted the security department of the parliament on several occasions, but every time they told me that they need time to examine the case, otherwise they would not attend to my complaint.”