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Iran arrests daughter of ex-president Rafsanjani: Reports

AFP, Sunday 23 Sep 2012
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Views: 827

The daughter of Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been arrested and jailed under a six-month sentence for "propaganda against the regime," the Tehran prosecutor's office said in a statement carried by official media on Sunday.

"Faezeh Hashemi was arrested on Saturday evening to serve her sentence," the statement read, according to the official IRNA news agency.

The Fars news agency reported that she had been taken to Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

Hashemi was among thousands arrested for taking part in protests that erupted after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was given a second term in a 2009 election amid claims by the opposition that the vote was rigged.

Although authorities released her, they last year put her on trial on charges of making anti-regime propaganda. She was found guilty but her sentence was not implemented until now.

Her father is an influential cleric who served as president from 1989 to 1997 and who is seen as a moderate voice isolated by hardliners in Iran's regime.

A son of Rafsanjani's, Mehdi Hashemi, has also been targeted by court action in Iran. He left the country more than three years ago and now lives in exile in London.

Rafsanjani, who still heads the country's top political arbitration body, has faced demands from conservatives that he publicly condemn Iran's opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both of whom languish under house arrest.

Since last year, Rafsanjani has distanced himself from the opposition figureheads.

Ahmadinejad, who beat Rafsanjani to grab the presidency in 2005, is to step down next year, having served his maximum two terms. Iran's presidential election to choose a successor is to be held on June 14, 2013.

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