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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Iranian diplomat accused of molesting girls in Brazil; has diplomatic immunity

Brazilian news sources are reporting:
Iranian diplomat in Brasília, Hekmatollah Ghorbani, is accused of abusing minors in a pool club in Brasilia on Saturday.

Ten girls, aged 9 and 15, were swimming in a neighborhood club, the South Wing, and four of them reported that Ghorbani, swimming, approached to touch the private parts of the girls while diving.

According to a report of those responsible for the minors, one of the girls, aged 14, realized that the Iranian had touched other girls and asked him to stop. She went to tell the lifeguard of the club, who ordered the closure of the pool. The father of one of the girls, Fernandes José Roberto Rodrigues, returned to the pool and tried to attack Ghorbani.

Deputy Police Chief Johnson Miller, who took the complaint, confirmed the reports, but despite the clear facts, Ghorbani was released for having diplomatic immunity.

"We note that this gentleman is part of the diplomatic mission of Iran in Brasilia. In this position, he was under the cloak of diplomatic immunity. We made a record of the occurrence. We will forward it to the Foreign Ministry. If he were an ordinary person, he would be charged under Article 217 A, for rape of minors, with a penalty of 8 to 15 years in prison. "

Ghorbani, who is over 50 years old, is the third in the hierarchy of the Iranian embassy in Brasilia. The embassy confirms that he is a member of the diplomatic corps, and has been in Brazil for nearly two years. The club also declined to comment on the incident. The Foreign Ministry, according to its press office says that it has not been notified about the occurrence, but confirms that the families of the girls asked for an audience with the General Coordination of Privileges and Immunities, in charge of diplomatic missions. The meeting was still scheduled for this week. According to the delegate, the occurrence record is forwarded to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.
While this is not my normal kind of posting, it is interesting that no English-language news source has covered this story yet.

(ht Oren)