Woman Jailed in Iran For Trying to Watch Volleyball Game: Reports

TEHRAN, Iran - A woman who was arrested while trying to attend a volleyball match in conservative Iran has been sentenced to one year in jail, her lawyer told local media on Sunday. British-Iranian Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, a law graduate from London, went on trial last month after being detained in June at a Tehran stadium where Iran's national volleyball team was to play Italy. Women are strictly prohibited from watching sporting events in Iran. “According to the verdict she was sentenced to one year," her lawyer Alizadeh Tabatabaie told Iranian media, noting that the judge had shown him the sentence.

Ghavami was formally charged with "activities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic," the lawyer told the official ILNA news agency. However, there is still room for an appeal. Iranian officials have said Ghavami was detained for security reasons. So far she has been held in the capital's notorious Evin Prison for 126 days 41 of which have been in solitary confinement.

Ghavami was questioned for four hours after being arrested for trying to enter the Azadi stadium on 20 June, her lawyer said. She was released but rearrested days later when she tried to collect her belongings from a police station where officers discovered her dual citizenship – a status which is not recognized in Iran and usually adds to the suspicion of authorities.


- Ali Arouzi