Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Daughter of former Iranian president Rafsanjani is jailed for joining protests

Wednesday 11/January/2023 - 04:41 PM
The Reference

The daughter of a former Iranian president has been sentenced to five years in prison for “propaganda acts” after being arrested in September for taking part in the mass protests that have swept the country.

According to her lawyer, Faezeh Hashemi, 60, was accused of encouraging people to take part in the unrest that began after the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, a student being held for not wearing her headscarf “properly”. Hashemi said that she would appeal.

Her late father, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was in office from 1989 to 1997, was considered a moderate and advocated for improved ties with the West. She has long been a women’s rights activist.

Hashemi, who was arrested 11 days after the Amini protests began, was charged with “collusion against national security, propaganda against the Islamic Republic and disturbing public order by participating in illegal gatherings”.

The sentencing came as international condemnation of Iran’s treatment of protesters grew after the execution of young demonstrators over the weekend.

The UN human rights chief today said that the executions amounted to “state-sanctioned killings”, condemning Iran for violating international human rights law. Iran has been “weaponising” criminal procedures to strike fear into the heart of the country to quell the movement against the regime, Volker Türk added.

Few details have made it out about the conditions of detention for protesters, but those that have painted a story of solitary confinement, sexual assault and torture.

Mohsen Jafari-Rad, the Iranian film critic and director, has become the latest to have taken his own life after being released from prison, according to the opposition news channel, Iran International, based in the UK.

Houshang Golmakani a journalist from the Film magazine in Iran, broke the news on Instagram. He wrote: “After two weeks of incarceration, he could finally prove he was not present in the demonstrations, but…”

Despite international condemnation and increasing sanctions against Iran, the regime has shown no sign of slowing its bloody crackdown on dissent.

The Iranian Mehr news agency reported today that the prosecutor general had issued a directive to police ordering them to “firmly punish any hijab violations”, despite the infamous “morality police” being less visible on the streets since the protests swelled.

“Courts must sentence the violators, as well as fine them, to additional penalties such as exile, bans on practising certain professions and closing workplaces,” it quoted the judiciary as saying.

Four people have been executed as a result of the protests. Scores more have been sentenced to death or are facing charges that automatically attract the death penalty.

Away from the high-profile death and jail sentences that have been handed down to sports stars and celebrities, Iran has arrested thousands of people in connection with the protests.

For as little as posting photos of themselves without the mandatory hijab, women have reportedly been jailed, banned from leaving the country and prohibited from using smartphones.