Six months in jail for daughter of Rafsanjani
THE DAUGHTER of influential former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was taken to prison late on Saturday to serve a six-month sentence for “spreading anti-state propaganda”, Iranian media has reported.
Faezeh Rafsanjani, a former member of parliament, was convicted in January and sentenced to jail. The conviction is believed to be over an interview she gave to an opposition news site in which she criticised human rights violations and economic policy in Iran.
She was detained briefly in 2009 after street protests against the election that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. Protesters said it was rigged in favour of the incumbent. Ms Rafsanjani had addressed supporters of defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi, who had gathered in defiance of a ban on opposition protests.
Her latest detention comes as her brother Mehdi Rafsanjani is expected to return to Iran after living and studying in Britain. Officials have said he should be arrested upon arrival in Iran, accusing him of fomenting unrest after the 2009 vote.
The wealthy Rafsanjani family has faced heightened pressure from hardliners since the 2009 vote, which set off the deepest political crisis and worst unrest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The centrist Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the founding figures of the Islamic Republic, had expressed sympathy for opposition demonstrators and saw his power and influence wane as a result.
In March 2011, he lost his post as head of the state clerical body, the Assembly of Experts, consolidating the ascendancy of the hardline Mr Ahmadinejad. – (Reuters)