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Feb 22, 11:26 AM EST

Son of dissident cleric begins prison term

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AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's semi-official Fars news agency is reporting that the son of late dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri has begun serving a six-year prison term.

In November, a clerical court sentenced Ahmad Montazeri to six years in prison for publishing a tape recording of his father condemning the execution of thousands of prisoners in 1988 at the end of the country's protracted war with Iraq. A website close to his family confirmed Wednesday that Ahmad Montazeri has been sent to prison after being summoned by the court.

For years, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who died in 2009, had accused the country's ruling Islamic establishment of imposing a dictatorship in the name of Islam, and persisted with his criticism after the disputed presidential election in June of that year.

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