Daughter of late Iran president gets 6-month prison sentence

AP – The outspoken daughter of Iran’s late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been sentenced to six months in prison for “spreading lies against the judiciary,” a semi-official news agency reported Saturday, as the country prepares for a May presidential election.

The report by the Fars news agency comes after rumors of a prison sentence handed down against Faezeh Hashemi had been circulating online. While it didn’t elaborate, the announcement comes as hard-liners have been cracking down on reformists in the lead-up to the vote.

Hashemi, who protested with others over Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election, has faced prison time before. She served six months in 2011 on charges of propagandizing against the ruling system. She received a six-month suspended prison sentence in 2014 on charges of slandering top officials.

The death of her father in January raised questions about who would now serve as a go-between for hard-liners and reformists in Iran. Hashemi herself drew cheers when she arrived for his funeral, flashing a “V for victory” hand gesture to the crowds.

Her brother, Mahdi, was furloughed from a 10-year prison term over embezzlement and security charges to attend the funeral. He has since resumed his sentence.

Meanwhile, a prominent moderate lawmaker has said 12 people were arrested over their reformist activism on the messaging app Telegram. The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Ali Motahari on Wednesday as saying he requested the country’s intelligence minister explain the arrests, and threatened to launch impeachment proceedings against him.

Meanwhile, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported Saturday that reformist lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi has expressed concerns in a letter to the powerful Revolutionary Guard over a series of arrests targeting reformist journalists and activists attributed to the paramilitary organization.