Dr Heshu Rebwar Ali [L] takes part in Rudaw's election special 10 Questions Programme. Photo: Rudaw
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Dr Heshu Rebwar Ali, a female candidate running on the election list of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), has filed a complaint after a video of her wearing a short dress at a birthday party was leaked on social media. She says she has nothing to be ashamed of.
The 10-second video clip shows Ali pouting for the camera wearing high heels and a black, off the shoulder dress, which falls just above the knee. Only Ali is seen in the video while the husband can be heard saying "Thanks to my beloved partner,” that the party is “a gift from her,” and that he is taken by surprise.
The video has divided opinion, with some socially conservative Facebook users responded with misogynistic remarks, prompting others to criticize alledged sexist attitudes within the KDP.
It then went to name some male KDP leaders that it accused of having a history of abuse against women.
Ali, a university professor with a PhD in economics, told a press conference held in Sulaimani that she is targeted by people who are not happy about her professional achievements.
She said her personal mobile phone was taken about a month ago, which contained private details of her life with her husband.
“I don’t know who took it. But I say this, if those people asked me directly, I would have sent them the original documents myself. They do not include any inappropriate things. It is just me with my husband in private events, something I am proud of,” she told the press conference, vowing to remain in the race for the May 12 Iraqi election.
“Everyone is entitled to her freedom and private life,” she added.
Anticipating more such leaks in future, Ali said she and her husband have filed a complaint in court demanding legal proceedings against those who leaked the video.
She said her husband supports her candidacy.
“From this podium, I repeat my love for my husband. He is always behind me with his full support,” she said.
in Rudaw’s 10 Questions Programme earlier this week where she talked about her campaign and that of her party in Sulaimani.
Female candidates have already sounded alarm
over the misuse of social media in the Iraqi election.