Iran briefly detains daughter of former president

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 20, 2011 20:38
1 minute read.

 
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CAIRO — Iranian authorities on Sunday briefly detained the daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the most powerful opposition supporter inside the country's clerical leadership, the official news agency reported.

Faezeh Hashemi, who has appeared at opposition protests in the past, was detained while trying to cause unrest by chanting anti-government slogans in one of the main streets of Tehran, the IRNA news agency said. Another pro-government news service reported that she was released a short while later.

Iran's opposition had called for rallies Sunday to mark a week since the deaths of two people in Feb. 14 clashes between security forces and opposition protesters in Tehran. Hashemi's detention suggested crowds did attempt to gather Sunday, despite severe warnings from authorities.

One international rights group whose assessments have been right in the past said large numbers of protesters had turned out on major streets in the capital and four other cities. The New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said security forces in Tehran dispersed the crowds with gunfire and tear gas. It said one person is believed to have been killed in the capital.

The report could not be independently confirmed, and Iran's police chief, Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam, denied there were any protests.

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