Iran jails woman over volleyball match protest

  • Reuters, Dubai
  • Updated: Nov 03, 2014 01:53 IST

An Iranian-British woman who took part in a demonstration in Tehran against a ban on women attending some men’s sporting events was jailed for a year for spreading anti-state propaganda, Iranian media said.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, was arrested on June 20 outside the city’s Azadi Stadium, where she and others were demanding that women be allowed in to watch a volleyball match between Iran and Italy.

She was charged by a Tehran court with activities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic. The semi-official ILNA news agency quoted her lawyer, Alireza Tabatabaie, as saying her sentence may be cut due to previous good behaviour.

Britain, which has no permanent diplomatic presence in Iran but has said it plans to reopen its embassy soon, said it had several worries about the way Ghavami had been treated and now reportedly sentenced to a jail term.

Iran does not recognise dual citizenship and treats dual nationals as Iranians.

Ghavami was released soon after her arrest in June but was re-arrested days later when she was called back to reclaim personal belongings that authorities had confiscated. In October, she went on a two-week hunger strike.

Iranian women in the Islamic Republic are banned from watching certain male sports events such as football and volleyball. Tabatabaie said that, for “various reasons”, he was unable to meet his client in the lead-up to the hearing.

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