Member of Ahmadinejad Entourage in New York is Suspect in Attack on a Young Woman
A New York court has pressed charges against a man accompanying Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his September 2009 trip to United Nation’s General Assembly in New York for assault in the second degree for attacking and injuring a young woman outside Ahmadinejad’s hotel. The suspect must now answer the court in this regard. According to an attorney such a charge could result in more than a year’s imprisonment for this individual.
Hossein Gholamzadeh Mahabadi, a member of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s entourage during his September 2009 trip to New York, hit a young woman who was trying to take amateur pictures with his hand, causing injury and bleeding to the young woman. Gholamzadeh works at the Iran U.N. mission’s office in New York. After this incident, New York City police patrolling the area interfered and asked those present at the scene whether they had witnessed the violence. Witnesses told the police that the attack had taken place and the victim had not attacked the suspect.
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the young woman who asked for anonymity said that considering the potential consequences of filing charges against a member of the Iranian delegation, she had decided not to press charges. But because the attack had taken place on the street, New York City police followed up on the events.
A document issued by The Criminal Court of the City of New York states that “on September 24, 2009, at about 21:20 p.m. in front of 111 East 48th Street in the County and City of New York, the Defendant committed the offense of Assault in the Second Degree,” and “the defendant, with intent to cause physical injury to another person, caused such injury to another person by means of a dangerous instrument.” Eye witnesses who talked to the police said they witnessed the suspect push the victim’s camera into her face, causing “bruising, swelling, and a laceration under her left eye.”
During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s New York appearance at the September UN General Assembly, hundreds of Iranians held protests against his presence in front of UN Headquarters. Later, tens of these protesters left the said gathering and congregated on the sidewalks outside his hotel residence.
The individual who was attacked during the gathering outside Ahmadinejad’s hotel told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran:
“On that day, after our protest walk we went to Ahmadinejad’s hotel. We were there until 10:00 p.m. At 10:00 p.m., the police said that we could no longer stay and chant our slogans. Therefore the crowd decided to go around the hotel block a few times and walk in silence. The crowd dispersed after walking around the block a few times. I was looking for my friend so we could go home. When I crossed the street, I saw this man who was standing there, waiting to cross the street. I didn’t know who he was, but from his appearance and the fact that he was standing in front of the hotel, I could guess that he is a member of the Ahmadinejad entourage. That’s why I wanted to take a picture of him when I saw him. I held the camera in front of my face to take the picture, but all of a sudden I felt something hard hit my face and I fell down. The next thing I remember is that I was on the ground, crying, and several police officers were standing all around us. The police weren’t doing anything, just asking whether anyone saw anything and what had happened? An Iranian man said that he had seen him hitting me in the face. The police asked me about what had happened and they took that man away and asked him, too. I was worried for a while, thinking that he might have diplomatic immunity…an American attorney who was there told me that he could serve as my attorney. At this time several people came out of the hotel and they were trying to see my face and one of them had a camera. I asked the police to take me somewhere where nobody could see me. Several New York Police officers and secret service officers talked to me. There was also someone there who was talking with the Iran office [office of the Iranian delegation to UN]. After a while we found out that the man [my attacker] did not have diplomatic immunity. They asked me whether I wished to press charges. I told them that I didn’t want to press charges because my family are in Iran.” Even so, the police has pursued the case and the aforementioned lawyers have also followed up on it. Hossein Gholamzadeh Mah, a member of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s entourage is now facing charges, as shown in the document below, and will have to be accountable for assault of the second degree for attacking a citizen on a city street. Iranian authorities have not issued any statements about this case so far.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran presents below the Court document which was issued immediately after the incident.