This woman has been jailed for a year. Her crime? Watching volleyball

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Sunday 02 November 2014 11:00
news

The Iranian-British woman detained while trying to attend a men's volleyball game has been sentenced to one year in prison, according to her lawyer.

Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei told The Associated Press that a court found Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, guilty of "propagating against the ruling system." Tabatabaei said he was shown the text of the verdict but is still waiting to officially receive it. He declined to immediately comment further.

Ghavami was detained in June at a Tehran's Freedom Stadium after trying to attend a men's volleyball match between Iran and Italy. Women are banned from attending male-only matches in Iran and Ghavami tried to enter the match with other women to protest the ban, according to Amnesty International. She was first held after the match on June 20, before being released but she was then re-arrested on June 30.

Responding to the reports, Amnesty International's UK Director Kate Allen said the verdict was "appalling".

“It’s an outrage that a young woman is being locked up simply for peacefully having her say about how women are discriminated against in Iran.

“Ghoncheh is a prisoner of conscience and the Iranian authorities should quash the sentence and release her immediately and unconditionally.

“The authorities should also investigate allegations that Ghoncheh was subjected to death threats by her interrogators and provide compensation for her arbitrary detention and her prolonged solitary confinement.”

More than 35,000 people have supported an Amnesty campaign calling for Ghoncheh Ghavami’s immediate release.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "We are concerned about reports that Ghoncheh Ghavami has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for ‘propaganda against the state’. We have concerns about the grounds for this prosecution, due process during the trial and Miss Ghavami’s treatment whilst in custody."

Additional reporting: AP

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