A British-Iranian woman has been sentenced to a year in prison for watching a volleyball game.
A British-Iranian woman has been sentenced to a year in prison for watching a men’s volleyball game, according to her lawyer and family.
Ghoncheh Ghavami, a law graduate from London, went on trial last month and was found guilty of spreading anti-regime propaganda.
Iran banned women from volleyball matches in 2012, arguing that women need protection from the lewd behaviour of male fans.
Ghoncheh, who is from Shepherd’s Bush in London, was part of a group of women who tried to watch Iran play Italy in a match on 20 June.
Her brother, Iman Ghavami, told the Guardian his family are devastated by the news.
‘My parents are kind of shattered really. I mean they didn’t expect this you know, she’s already been through enough and now she’s going to get a year,’ he said.
‘They’re running from one office to another to see if they can get some sort of leniency or they can make an appeal.’
The graduate spent two weeks on hunger strike in early October as a protest against her punishment, where she’s being held in relatively solitary confinement in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran.
The Foreign Office has released a statement about the unjust treatment of the 25-year-old. ‘We are concerned about reports that Ghoncheh Ghavami has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for “propaganda against the state”,’ they said.
‘We have concerns about the grounds for this prosecution, due process during the trial and Ms Ghavami’s treatment whilst in custody.’
Visit the Free Ghoncheh Ghavami Facebook page for more information.