Former Iranian president's daughter arrested for 'inciting riots'

The Nation  |  Sep 28, 2022

  Former Iranian president's daughter arrested for 'inciting riots'

The daughter of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was arrested Tuesday evening for allegedly "inciting riots" in the wake of the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody.

A report by the semi-official Tasnim news agency said Faezeh Hashemi was arrested by a security agency for "instigating riots in east Tehran," adding the "provocations" failed to bring people to the streets.

Tehran and other major Iranian cities have been rocked by angry protests since Mahsa Amini's death in police custody last week after she was detained by the country's morality police for "dressing inappropriately."

In recent days, the protests have taken a violent turn, leaving at least 41 dead, including civilians and police officers. Hundreds of people have also been arrested, including activists.

Hashemi, a 59-year-old prominent women's rights activist, has a history of run-ins with Iran's security agencies for alleged "anti-government" activities.

In July this year, she was charged with "propaganda activity against the Islamic Republic" over her comments in an interview on the removal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the US State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

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She also reportedly said that Islam’s Prophet Muhammad spent the money of his "businesswoman wife" Khadija, which the judicial authorities said amounted to "blasphemy."

However, it was not clear whether she was taken into custody after the indictment.

In September 2012, Hashemi spent six months in a Tehran jail on charges of "propaganda activities" after she reportedly referred to Iran's judiciary as "thugs and hoodlums who target people” in an interview.

Before that, she was arrested a few times during the unrest of 2009, which was triggered by the disputed election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Her father served as the country's president between 1989 and 1997. A reformist, he also held many other important positions during his eventful political career before passing away in 2017.

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