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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran ex-VP for women says she will appeal jail sentence

Shahindokht Molaverdi [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 December, 2020

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A former vice-president to Iran's Hassan Rouhani says she had been accused of handing classified information to foreign parties.
A former vice-president to Iran's Hassan Rouhani says she intends to appeal a prison sentence handed to her on Saturday, the ISNA news agency said.

That came after reports she had been accused of handing classified information to foreign parties.

"I received the sentence this morning, but it's a preliminary verdict," Shahindokht Molaverdi told ISNA.

"There is a 20-day window for reconsideration and I will certainly appeal."

She did not elaborate on her sentence.

Read also: Former Iran President Rouhani aide 'apologises' for supporting LGBTQ families

Molaverdi served as Rouhani's vice-president for women's affairs for four years and was replaced by Masoumeh Ebtekar in 2017.

She continued as Rouhani's "special aide on civil rights affairs" for the next year, before retiring.

Fars news agency reported on Saturday that she had been sentenced by Branch 15 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court to two years in prison for "providing classified information and documents ... aiming to destabilise national security". 

Reporting on one of her trial sessions in October, state news agency IRNA said she was accused of aiming to transfer classified information to foreign parties by "signing a contract with the United Nations Population Fund".

Fars also said on Saturday that she had been handed another six months for "propaganda" against the Islamic republic's ruling system.

The former official has faced many controversies during and since her tenure, including over comments supporting the right of women to attend male sports events.

A court in Tehran summoned her in 2016 for "spreading false information" after she reportedly said that all the men in a village in Sistan-Baluchistan, a southeastern province bordering Pakistan, had been executed for drug crimes.

Judicial officials denied her allegations.

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