Iran jails former President Rafsanjani's daughter


The daughter of the former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
has been sentenced to six months in prison for "making propaganda
against the ruling system".
Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani's trial took place behind closed doors last month.
According to the conservative website Mashregh News, she has been
banned from taking part in political, cultural and media activities
for five years.
She has 20 days to appeal against the sentence.
Correspondents say that her punishment may be turned into a suspended
jail term on appeal, as often happens with opponents of the Iranian
Faezah Rafsanjani has given interviews in recent months in which she
defended her father's position - and this appears to be her offence.
Akbar Rafsanjani has refused to condemn Iran's two most prominent
pro-reform leaders.
Faezah Rafsanjani is a former MP and the most politically active of Mr
Rafsanjani's children. She was briefly detained in February 2011 after
taking part in a banned protest march.
The former president's political influence has decreased in recent
years, and his website was recently shut down.
In 2009, during the protests that followed President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad's controversial re-election, Mr Rafsanjani angered
hard-liners by calling for the release of detained opposition members.
In March 2011 he lost his position as head of Iran's highest clerical
body, the Assembly of Experts.
He now retains only one political position, as head of the Expediency
Council, but his term there ends in April and it is unclear whether he
will keep that role.