Nader Ghazipour ; A war criminal or an election winner
Nader Ghazipour ; A war criminal or an election winner – After several ups and downs the Clerical Assembly of Experts and the Islamic Consultative…
Iran Briefing After several ups and downs the Clerical Assembly of Experts and the Islamic Consultative Assembly elections were held in Iran on February 27; two surprising elections from the moment of nominating 12 thousand candidates, to unprecedented disqualifying nearly two-thirds of them imposing mandatory supervision of the Guardian Council, and finally ending up with wide public participation which brought an astonishing result for the government.
Among the wide illegal process of disqualifying the candidates that occurred by interfering of IRGC’s Information Security, a list of candidates close to reformists – Omid list – hit the headlines of the election result. The list was so welcomed to the people so that even the Supreme Leader’s confidant nominates failed to enter the parliament. However that was not all, some of the conservative representative winner of the election in other cities also hit the headlines.
Controversial remarks of Urmia’s representative:
“Nader Ghazipour”, the first winner of Urmia’s parliamentary election, hit the Persian headlines after publishing a short video of his remarks in one of his supportive election campaign. As a former commander of “Artillery Battalion of Imam Jafar Sadegh” during the Iran’s wartime, shortly after winning the tenth election of Parliament he pointed out something in the meeting that can lead him to be sued in the international war crimes tribunal.
He pointed out: “You might not cut off a chicken’s head in your life, but I had to cut off 600 captives’ head in war. Parliament is not a place for foxes and women; not a place for children. It’s not a place for donkeys. Not a place for women but for men.” His further remarks consists more offensive and highly inappropriate words and phrases specifically to women.
In addition to insulting the principles and laws of the Islamic Republic on the subject of women’s right to be selected in parliament, just hours after the announcement of the election victory, the member of 8th, 9th and 10th Parliament, Ghazipour, scorned the confidence of the people and their verdict.
A report of Nader Ghazipour was published in “Ghanoon” newspaper and announced: “ His words and phrases are unbelievably disdainful so that it is impossible to publish some of his statements.” Ghanoon continues: “However the video of his statements is available Ghazipour denied his remarks.”
After widespread going viral of the video his mobile phone was out of reach; although later he moved forward and claimed in his Instagram page: “The people who spied and filmed (the meeting) and published it, have to doubt about themselves as they wanted to doubt your votes by ruining Ghazipour; why didn’t they say that the Ghazipour’s campaign members were poor and oppressed people?”
The journalist’s assassination:
“Hamed Ataeei”, the journalist who posted the video for the first time, was beaten up seriously in front of his wife and child on the street in Tabriz. Fortunately the accident was recorded by surveillance camera and was presented to a court by him to follow the punishment and pursue of the perpetrators.
His cheek and his left ear were seriously injured and it is said that his eardrum is ruptured so that he has lost his hearing. His complaint against the attackers has been impeached to the Public and Revolutionary Courts and the deputy prosecutor and electoral cases’ judge are supposed to state their decision.
A war crime: Misconduct and killing of prisoners of war
The important issue declared by Ghazipour, would cause Iran an international and reginal consequences in this specific conditions of the Middle East. During the Iraq’s invasion against Iran which ended to an eight-year war, the parties had committed offenses. One of the offenses that drew the attention of international institutions has been perusing the two countries behavior toward the prisoners of the war.
While Iran has stated frequently his good behavior toward the prisoners of the war, has accused Iraq for mistreatment toward war prisoners based on its former war prisoners’ statements during the eight-year war. Now a conservative representative close to the Supreme Leader claims that when he was Commander in charge of twelve people in Basra al-Amara road, because there was no possibility of transferring, “I killed 600 to 700 Iraqis who had been surrendered “for the sake of Imam and martyrs.”
Ghazipour who was also responsible for Khamenei’s Electoral Office during the 1981 and 1985 elections, reaffirmed killing the Iraq’s war prisoners in other interview on March 7, 2016 saying: “I cannot deny that I did not do that but it is not true to say that they were prisoners because we were performing an operation and after the operation the majority of them were lying on the ground.”
According to the international conventions which Iran has also signed them, killing prisoners of war is a war crime. Based on his two times documented personal confessions, Ghazipour should be summoned to the court of competent jurisdiction and should be punished based on the related laws.
What kinds of reaction does a double confess of murdering of 700 Iraqi prisoners of war provoke in Arab world? Doesn’t it hurt their feelings? Could admitting the issue cause coldness between Iran and Iraq’s relation? Fore sure failure to follow his statements would be against Iran’s “national interests” and “national security”.
Parliament is not a place for women:
The former commander of Corps announced in his filmed speech: “Parliament is not a place for women; if they do (male colleagues) might do things to them and disgrace you.”! In accordance with Article 28 of the parliamentary electoral law, candidates in Islamic parliamentary elections must meet seven conditions in order to be approved by related institutions. These provisions include the followings: “Having the gift of health in vision, hearing and speech, not having criminal convictions and background, not having ill reputation in the constituency, having at least 30 years of age for registration, having at least a master’s degree or its equivalent, believing and adherence to the Islamic Republic and the fundamental law, and believing and adherence to Islam and the progressive principle of Absolute Theocratic Guardianship.” None of the conditions coveys that women have fewer rights than men in nominating, being selected in the parliament or influencing the laws to be approved or rejected.
In his filmed remarks, Ghazipour confesses that he has committed sodomy in the Islamic Consultative Assembly. He admits to sexual assault by the use of force. Under the penal code, the punishment for sodomy is death.
Henchman and disciple relationship
Since Ghazipour has known Ali Khamenei as his henchman, based on Khamenei’s Eid al-Fitr sermons on September 20, 2009 the confession of his disciple (Ghazipour) could be effective and prosecutable. He had remarked in that sermon: “…any confession –religiously and mystically- among wise, in a court, in front of camera, in front of millions of viewers that defendant makes against himself, this confession is hearable, plausible and valid …. The judicial system must condemn and punish the offender; by the same way that (the crime) is proven and is in our Islamic and customary laws, and it shouldn’t be neglected; but the punishment of the criminals that has been legally proven.” According to the Ghazipour remarks which have been presented freely outside the prison, these statements are valid and whoever rejects the validity of them, has talked “nonsense” and this confession have been “heard”. Judiciary should prosecute and punish him for “war crimes”, “insulting women representatives” and subsequently all Iranian women as well as “confessing sodomy”.
If the Iran’s judiciary does not react to Ghazipour statements, Ayatollah Khamenei would be responsible of this Corps’ representative and extremist of the recent and tenth parliament as he claims: “we are religious people…some people wants to ruin me, because I’m a soldier and a servant of Supreme Leader. But they should know a soldier of Imam Khamenei is not afraid of these things.” In fact, he blamed the responsibility of his actions to the first person of the Islamic regime. While the media affiliated to Corps has supported Ghazipour we have to wait for Khamenei’s reaction whether he accepts the responsibility of his war offence and actions or not? And what does this support mean?
A large number of individuals and groups have asked the denial of Ghazipour accreditation by Parliament due to his “racist and misogynistic” words which is a legitimate request. However the most important issue is dealing with his claim about war crimes. In case of the accuracy of this claim he has to be on trial and will be jailed for war crimes.
Reactions to Ghazipour statements
Expressing regret over the publication of this speech, Minoo Aslani, the head of women mobilization, said: “I believe we have to ignore these words and stop its further spreading as they are not worthy from any human being let alone from a member of parliament. This literature is so absurd that I do not know what to say.”
Expressing Ghazipour’s statements as a “shocking and unbelievable” remark, Susan Safaverdi, a university professor and political activist says: “No one insults women except the cursed people and it is not assigned with the civilized people of Urmia. Nader Ghazipour has embroiled the mental security of the society with his unfounded words. These words are a sign of his own cortical and folklore culture and it is not attributed to any leader and sect and way.” She continues about the other part of Ghazipour statement about “cutting off the Iraqi war prisoner’s head”: “We have carried a flag in years that represents our moral points in the war. We behaved with Iraqi POWs based on following the defined tradition of Imams. But Nader Ghazipour questioned all this history.”
Fatemeh Rahbar, a conservative representative of 9th parliament says: “I am not going to talk about these statements but god willing, I will answer him through the pursuit of legal authorities.” However she emphasized: “the published remarks of Urmia representative is not only insulting women but insulting all the people and their representatives and has questioned the ethical criteria.” The Women’s Caucus member of 9th parliament said: “We have Supervisory Board of Representatives in parliament as well as Article 90 Commission that we can follow up the issue either ways” and moreover, “our response to these statements will be through the judiciary authorities”.
Shahrbanoo Amani, an Urmia’s former MPs pointed out: “Some are unable to control their behavior and stability facing encouragement; they think that they can collect people’s votes by defamation, detraction, slander and ridiculing moralities.” The Iranian souls, especially the souls of people in that region have been wounded.” She continued.
A conservative member of the current parliament, Laleh Eftehari, announced about a collective decision of the Quran and progeny fraction through “the legal and official ways” in response to Nader Ghazipour’s statements and said: “we don’t keep quiet against his words and we will respond him in appropriate ways.”
The other MPs who had been insulted in Ghazipour words declared: “I will sue him.”
Azar Mansouri, a reformist political activist, also describes the remarks of Nader Ghazipour “absurd, humiliating and rude” and also “insulting the Iranian consciousness; regardless of race, gender and ethnicity” saying: “ on one hand insulting men and women and his inhuman views, and on the other hand his absurd remarks in connection with the sexual assault reveals the thought that not only makes his presence impossible in the Islamic Parliament that must be at the helm of affairs; but also the presence of such a person with such ideas is dangerous in the society for those around him.”
Shahla Lahiji, a Publisher and translator also said: “When a representative insults the women like that, he does not know that the insult comes back to him. When a man curses a woman, he curses his own mother, spouse, sisters and half of the country’s population. It is not just the matter of the cheap literature but also when a woman is disqualified is also a curse, in fact, disqualifying 600 women causes continuing this issue.”
“Aftab-e Yazd” newspaper in its title as “Revenge of the vote with offensive weapon” wrote: “After some conservatives bitter attack on the people of Tehran and calling the capital as” the city of divorce” this time a representative of this movement insults all the women in the country.” The newspaper also reviews Nader Ghazipour statements as” the first exam of the new parliament” in one of its editorials demanding the Parliament rejection of his credentials.
“ Hamideh Zarabadi” the elected representative of Qazvin, wrote in a critical letter to Ghazipour: “At the first opportunity adapt your ideas with the reality of today’s society expressing your apologies to the venerable women.”
Ghanoon newspaper, the newspaper that published Ghazipour statements for the very first time, emphasized in a comment that “credential reviews of Ghazipour should become something to express public outrage against this kind of thinking.”
Iranwire also published a legal note of Mohammad Oliaeifar explaining: “Unlike those who think reviewing the credentials of the representatives are limited to the issue of the election, the backgrounds and the performance of the representatives are of the findings to confirm or deny the credentials of its members. As a result, based on the documents obtained about insulting women and ethnic minorities as it happened by Nader Ghazipour the current and 10th representative of Urmia in parliament, the 10th MPs could reject his credentials after the approval of the Guardian Council.”
Iran’s regime has already experienced supporting “Radovan Karadzic” punishment in former Yugoslavia as a war criminal and had followed the legal pursuit of his arrestment and trial after 13 years of hiding.
During the civil war Karadzic and the troops under his command in “Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo” killed and slaughtered many Muslims.
During those years, Iranian media specially broadcasted the news about the war and followed finding and prosecuting Karadzic a part of their follow-up. In recent years, extremist Islamist terrorists of ISIS have carried out similar actions which have been referred as a humanitarian disaster. Now we have to wait for the reaction of the recent and new MPs, the judiciary and trial before an international outcry; because war crimes as crimes against humanity will be prosecuted more seriously than a joke and cannot be denied by an apology. What has happened is a dark stain on the forehead of the Islamic Republic legislators. The appropriate reaction to the IRGC’s representative can prevent repeating such behavior and reduce the boundless power of undercover armed forces personnel in the realm of legislation.
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