HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A Republican activist and Afghan refugee is suing members of her own party, claiming she was accused of being a terrorist.
As a child, Hekmati and her family fled Afghanistan. She’s lived in Henry County for more than a decade and has been recognized as a dedicated member of the Republican Party for years, including a commendation from former Gov. Sonny Perdue.
"This is the only way I can give back to a country that has given me freedom, knowing what women in Afghanistan are going through," Hekmati said.
Hekmati said her district recently nominated her to be a delegate at the Republican National Convention, but now some people are appealing the move and the verbal attacks are getting worse.
Hekmati and her attorney, John Sparks, told Channel 2 political reporter Lori Geary they taped conversation proving the three defendants named in the lawsuit are out to ruin her.
"I had to watch my back for a few days wondering if she was going to do a drive by on me" one woman said on tape.
“She’s a felon. She can’t even get a gun permit,” a second woman adds to the recorded conversation.
The three women named in the lawsuit would not speak on camera but released a statement that said, “There is turmoil with Henry County Republicans due to a recent convention that is being appealed to the national level. The civil case is a frivolous lawsuit and we deny all allegations.”
The defendants said they hope to have the lawsuit resolved quickly and justly for the advancement of Republican principals but Hekmati said she’s not backing down.
“My children will learn mom didn't give up, mom did what's right. Hopefully justice will prevail," she said.