March 17, 2017 / 3:54 PM / 5 months ago

Iran sentences daughter of late president to jail for second time

2 Min Read

ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's hardline judiciary has sentenced the daughter of late Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to jail for "anti-state propaganda, spreading lies against the judiciary and the Revolutionary Guards Corps", the opposition website Kalemeh reported on Friday.

The Islamic Republic has piled pressure on the pro-reform opposition ahead of a presidential election on May 19, when hardline rivals of pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani hope to regain control of executive power.

"Again Faezeh Hashemi has been sentenced to six months' jail because of her critical remarks about Judiciary and the Guards," Kalemeh reported.

Judicial officials were not immediately available to comment.

The 55-year-old Hashemi, a women's rights activist and a former member of parliament, has 21 days to appeal the sentence. She was also jailed for six months in 2012 for "spreading anti-state propaganda".

In 2009, Hashemi was detained briefly after street protests against the re-election of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Protesters said it was rigged in favor of the hardline president.

Hashemi's father, one of the founding figures of the Islamic Republic and a close aide to the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, died in January.

Allies of Rouhani have criticized a crackdown on social media and the arrest of at least 15 moderate activists ahead of the election, in which Rouhani is expected to run for a second term.

The deputy head of Iran's parliament, Ali Motahari, has called on the judiciary and the Intelligence Ministry to shed light on the arrests, condemning them as “election engineering”, Kalemeh reported.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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