Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

British-Iranian woman gets a year in Tehran jail for trying to watch a volleyball match

1932750_821139197937118_3062069564134437623_o.jpg

A 25-year-old British-Iranian woman has been sentenced to a year in prison in Iran for attempting to watch a men's volleyball match in the capital Tehran earlier this year.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, a law graduate from London, was arrested in June but only told in late September that she'd been charged with spreading 'propaganda against the regime'. It is illegal in Iran for women to attend football or volleyball matches.

Ghoncheh was arrested on 20th June at the Azadi stadium where the national volleyball team was scheduled to play Italy. She was released within a few hours, but rearrested days later, reportedly when officials discovered her dual citizenship. Her mother Susan, 49, was born in London and grew up in the UK before moving to Iran.

During her time in prison, Ghoncheh spent 41 days in solitary confinement and was denied contact with her lawyer. In early October, she went on hunger strike for two weeks to "highlight the injustice of her situation" while her family appealed to Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, to release her.

Ghoncheh Ghavami

Ghoncheh Ghavami and her mum, Susan

Her brother Iman started a petition on Change.org, where he stated she had been arrested due to a "misunderstanding" and at time of writing, had amassed over 710,000 signatures.

Speaking to the Guardian, Iman, 28, said the family were "shattered" by the guilty verdict and sentence, which was handed down during a private hearing on Saturday that the family was not allowed to attend.

“We are really disappointed because we felt she would get out on bail immediately. She’s been through a lot and now it’s a full-year sentence and she’s already served four months."

President Rouhani recently defended her detainment when questioned on CNN, saying Iran did not recognise her dual citizenship and that “the bottom line is our aim for the laws to be respected every step of the way.”

Amnesty International has previously said a guilty verdict would be an "outrage" while Britain's Foreign Office said: "We have concerns about the grounds for this prosecution, due process during the trial, and Miss Ghavami's treatment whilst in custody."

Images: Save Ghoncheh Ghavami

Related

485598669.jpg

Hanged Reyhaneh Jabbari's last letter: "Sometimes one has to fight"

untitled-3.jpg

Young Iranian fans arrested over Pharrell Happy video

untitled-11.jpg

Iranian women unveil on "stealthy freedoms" Facebook group

Comments

More

Paloma Faith pens emotional letter to NHS following birth of her baby

She made her feelings about the NHS very clear following her emergency C-section

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Lady Gaga's supermarket sweep to backstage at the British Fashion Awards

by Nicola Colyer
06 Dec 2016

Lady Gaga opens up about her struggle with PTSD

The singer says she is still dealing with the psychological impact of being raped.

by Moya Crockett
06 Dec 2016

Bernardo Bertolucci responds to Last Tango in Paris backlash

"This is a ridiculous misunderstanding"

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

Madonna twerks up a storm with James Corden in new Carpool Karaoke

Watch this material girl get up on the… dashboard?

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

How three women transformed their lives in wake of the Ebola crisis

A burial worker, a farmer and a mechanic on making it in a man's world

by Sarah Biddlecombe
05 Dec 2016

Jennifer Aniston reprises her role as Friends’ Rachel in epic video

It’s probably the closest we’re ever going to get to a Friends reunion

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Dec 2016

Amy Schumer to play Barbie in new live-action movie

But trolls have already slammed her as “too fat” for the role

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Dec 2016

Director admits controversial rape scene was real-life sexual assault

“I wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress”

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Dec 2016

“Happiness is getting acquainted with Mother Nature”

Lucy Mangan steps outside

by The Stylist web team
04 Dec 2016