News | Rafsanjani's Daughter: 6 Months Jail for 'Propaganda against System'
by DAN GEIST
03 Jan 2012 18:10
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Iran Standard Time (IRST), GMT+3:306:10 p.m., 13 Dey/January 3 Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the chairman of the Islamic Republic's Expediency Discernment Council and the former president of the country, has been sentenced to six months in jail for "propaganda against the ruling system." According to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency, she has also been barred from engaging in any sort of political, cultural, or media activity for five years.
Born in 1962, Hashemi represented Tehran in the Fifth Majles, from 1996 to 2000; during those same years, she published the daily Zan (Woman), until it was banned in a crackdown on the independent press. She has been an outspoken critic of the hardliners who control the Iranian regime and, as an advocate for women's rights, has stated that Islamic head covering, or hejab, should not be mandatory for women in Iran.
On June 20, 2009, she was arrested along with several friends during the demonstrations that followed the disputed election in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad retained the office of president. Last February 20, she was again arrested during the pro-democracy protests that were held around Iran in the wake of the Arab Spring. According to a report from IRNA, the state news agency, she was detained as she was "preparing to instigate unrest by making sharp comments and chanting provocative slogans."
This past March, her father -- regarded as a relatively moderate figure within Iran's current political scene -- was forced out of his influential position as chairman of the Assembly of Experts, which has the constitutional power to appoint the Supreme Leader. Rafsanjani served two terms as president, between 1989 and 1997. His own website has been blocked by the authorities since last week.
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