Iran jails woman for one year over volleyball match protest
A British-Iranian activist has been sentenced to a year in jail after she was arrested for trying to watch a men's volleyball match earlier this year on June 20.
Tehran: A British-Iranian activist has been sentenced to a year in jail after she was arrested for trying to watch a men's volleyball match earlier this year on June 20.
Ghoncheh Ghavami's lawyer Alizadeh Tabatabaie said that she was found guilty of spreading anti-regime propaganda.
The 25-year-old law graduate from London, was detained at a Tehran stadium where Iran’s national volleyball team was to play Italy. She went on trial last month.
Women in Iran were banned from watching men's volleyball matches in 2012 after the long-standing ban on football matches.
Though no reason was given for the conviction, the Iranian officials have said Ghavami was detained for security reasons unrelated to the volleyball match.
The Iranian authorities have argued that women need protection from the lewd behaviour of male fans.
However, Ghavami has found support with Amnesty International describing her as a prisoner of conscience, and called for her immediate release.
Also, More than 700,000 people have signed an online petition urging the authorities to free Ghavami, BBC reported.
The women were arrested and allegedly beaten before being freed. Ghavami was rearrested later and subsequently put on trial. She launched a hunger strike in October after being held in isolation cells.