May 9, 2015, 5:03 PM
All about Mahabad girl

TEHRAN, May 09 (MNA) – Suspicious death of a young girl in Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province, stirred violence among people after false rumors went viral in city.

On Thursday, May 7, hundreds of citizens of the northwestern city of Mahabad in West Azerbaijan province gathered outside Tara Hotel to protest against death of a young girl called Farinaz, 25, who had died last weekend.

The young girl died on Sunday after she collapsed from window of a fourth floor room of the hotel she worked for. While her burial and mourning ceremonies were held on Tuesday and Wednesday, the tension erupted after rumors went around the city claiming that Farinaz was trying to run away from being raped by a security personnel when she fell to death. No evident was provided, though.

In a religious society sensitive to honor of women – especially among Kurds who form the majority of Mahabad’s population - large number of people jumped to conclusion and crowded outside hotel to call for justice for the so-called security perpetrator, who in other versions of rumors was said to be hotel manager. The anxiety of the crowd, according to a local authority mostly young people aged between 15 and 22, further led to torching of hotel’s lobby. The tension was cordoned off by police involvement.

Intelligence personnel?!

While the victim was buried earlier this week, certain separatist groups from outside the country were the first groups to spread the lie about the man being a security personnel. The story was distributed using mobile-based social networks which are quite popular among Iranian nowadays.

More interestingly, foreign media outlets rushed to reporting unrests among Iran Kurds based on information provided by same outsiders. Daily Beast called it ‘suicide of a hotel maid—after an alleged rape attempt by an Intelligence Ministry employee.’ New York Times referred to a website in Iraq’s Kurdistan and people from that region or Europe on Twitter in providing details of the event.

In fact, it was not only the people, but also foreign media, who jumped to conclusion in the issue, giving tribune to anti-Iran groups who tried to depict the event as Iranian Kurds opposition against the government.


Shedding more light on details

Unlike the primary reports by foreign media and rumors, the man involved in the case neither was a security personnel, nor a government employee according to Alireza Radfar, Political and Security Deputy of Provincial Governor of West Azerbaijan.

Radfar went among reporters on Friday and elaborated on details of the tragic death of the young Farinaz. “On May 3, a young lady collapsed from 4th floor of the hotel after being engaged with emotional, family issues which led to her unfortunate death and I take the opportunity to share my condolences with her family,” Radfar said preferring not to share more details on the ‘emotional case’ in order to respect her and her family. He, however, asserted that forensic examines rejected alleged rape or sexual assault against the victim.

Radfar assured Mahabad people that the man who was involved had been under custody from the early moments of the event and judiciary officials were working on the case. “Contrary to foreign media reports, the person involved in the case was by no means connected to the government. The suspect belonged to private sector and was hired by hotel to improve its standards and development plans as an advisor,” he said.

While earlier reports claimed that she was escaping rape, other versions of stories going around on social networks claim that the hotel manager had locked the two in room after noticing her previous frequent visit to the suspect’s room which was unnecessary to their jobs. According to the account, he further threatens to inform the girl’s family which causes her try to escape from window to next room where she fails and falls down.

Radfar highlighted that police had considered self-restraint in Thursday events as the officials had realized anxiety among young people. However, he criticized them for distorting the image of the city “which was improved by the help of citizens in recent years. Nearly 100 thousand visitors travelled to Mahabad during New Year holidays; and the city is hosting an investment conference in upcoming dates. Would such acts be helpful or damaging to tourism industry or investment opportunities of the city,” he asked rhetorically.

On the casualties of Thursday tensions, deputy governor said that 25 people were injured 7 of which were police forces. “There was no shooting and no one was killed during the tension,” he confirmed. Some foreign media had earlier claimed that several people were killed in police clash with protesters.


News Code 107000

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