Family of Late Iranian President Rafsanjani Banned From Traveling Abroad
Four family members of the late Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani have been banned from traveling abroad by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), while one member is facing a “fabricated case” against her, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
In addition to being banned from international travel, Rafsanjani’s daughter, former member of Parliament Faezeh Hashemi, is facing “several” court cases involving charges brought by the IRGC and the judiciary for her peaceful political activities.
“Faezeh and Yasser Hashemi have been prohibited from traveling abroad by the prosecutor’s office based on a request from the IRGC,” the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told CHRI. “The reason is still not clear, but the IRGC has put together a report against Faezeh that is full of lies.”
“The IRGC claims that she has been refusing to show up in court,” continued the source. “But in recent months, she has appeared in every court she has been summoned to. The IRGC also accused her of meeting with the Italian ambassador in Tehran to get a visa to leave the country before she was sentenced, which is another lie. She has had no meeting with the Italian ambassador. She doesn’t need a visa. She has three years left on her five-year Italian visa.”
Travel bans have also been issued against Faezeh Hashemi’s brother, Yasser Hashemi, as well as Rafsanjani’s grandsons, Emad Hashemi and Fuad Hashemi.
A ban that was previously imposed on Hassan Lahouti, Faezeh Hashemi’s son, has been lifted and his passport has been returned.
“Hassan and Emad recently discovered they were not allowed to leave the country when their passports were confiscated at Tehran’s airport before boarding a flight,” the informed source told CHRI. “But Hassan’s case has been resolved and he got his passport back. There is a travel ban on Fuad as well, but he is a student in the UK, which means if he returns to Iran he would not be able to leave.”
The travel bans were issued on May 16, 2017, and the news was made public on September 23, 2017.
“They have fabricated several cases against Faezeh in recent months, all based on her interviews and speeches,” said the source. “The plaintiffs are the IRGC and the judiciary. Another accuser is the prosecutor in Arak [city in central Iran], who claims she made a campaign speech in violation of a ban they used to silence her.”
The outspoken political activist was prevented from speaking at the opening of President Hassan Rouhani’s campaign office in Arak, 148 miles south of Tehran, on April 30, two weeks before Iran’s presidential election.
Faezeh Hashemi, 55, published Iran’s first women’s newspaper, Zan until it was banned in 1999. She also represented the people of Tehran in Parliament from 1996 to 2000.
In 2012, she was imprisoned for six months for “propaganda against the state” and barred from political and media activities for five years for engaging in peaceful political activism.
In March 2016, Branch 1060 of the Tehran Court for Government Employees sentenced her to six months in prison for the charges of “spreading falsehoods,” “disturbing public opinion” and “propaganda against the state.” She is currently awaiting a decision on her appeal.
On November 16 of that year, the judiciary’s official news agency, Mizan, accused Hashemi of “slandering the judiciary” in an interview with the Dorr online TV channel in which she repeated previously posed questions about state funds deposited into Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani’s personal accounts.
Faezeh Hashemi’s brother, Mehdi Hashemi, has been serving a 10-year prison sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison since August 2015 for allegedly engaging in financial corruption and anti-state activities.