News : Women
- Published: Wednesday, 16 January 2019
By INU Staff
INU- Iranian security forces have smuggled the body of a rape victim who died under suspicious circumstances out of the coroner’s office and secretly buried it in a cemetery in a small village before an autopsy could take place.
Zahra Navidpour, 28, was found dead at her mother’s home on Sunday, January 6, and the prosecutor’s office in Malekan announced her death as an “apparent suicide”. However, when her body was delivered to the Coroner’s Office for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, security forces stole her body and buried it secretly in Tazeh Qaleh (Malik Kandi) village.
Navidpour had been repeatedly raped by Salman Khodadadi, the parliamentary deputy of Malekan, a small city in East Azerbaijan Province, northwestern Iran, and was pursuing a case against him in court. She had previously released videos and audio files accusing Khodadadi of sexually assaulting her when she had gone to ask him for a job roughly four years ago.
This led to much speculation that the Iranian Regime and Khodadadi were involved in her death, something that this cover-up seems to confirm.
Navidpour had been repeatedly threatened by Khodadadi prior to her death, so she wrote to the judge presiding over her case saying that she needed to be protected, even providing audio files and documents of the threats. She even went on TV in the neighbouring Republic of Azerbaijan a few weeks ago to speak about the threats on her life.
Khodadadi previously told her in the parliament: “I will order to have you and your family killed overnight without anyone knowing.”
The judge dismissed Navidpour’s concerns and accused her of lying, up until the point that Khodadadi was recorded admitting to the rape, in an effort to close the case without upsetting the mullahs.
Khodadadi is a controversial figure in Iran’s parliament, where he has served five four-year terms, because of several other sexual abuse allegations against him, including from other constituents and a former secretary.
Navidpour is far from the first woman in Iran who has fallen victim to violence and sexual abuse by regime officials, but it is still shocking that she may have been killed to stop this matter from going to court. The abuse of women by Iranian officials is directly linked to the sexist laws enacted by the Regime, which strip women of their agency, their authority, and their humanity. It will not end until the Regime falls.
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