Volleyball woman jailed in Iran declares hunger strike

2014-11-04 06:40

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - A British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran after trying to watch a volleyball match is on a hunger strike, refusing food or liquids, her brother told AFP on Monday.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, a 25-year-old law graduate from London, is protesting because the judge has yet to confirm her one-year prison sentence, making it official, her brother said.

"She's been on hunger strike from Saturday," Iman Ghavami said in a phone interview. "She's not eating any solid foods and she's not drinking any liquids."

Ghavami said his sister's lawyer had seen the court document sentencing her to one year in jail, but that a deadline to make the verdict formal had now passed.

"The case is in limbo... I don't understand why they don't want to issue the verdict when they have made the decision." he said.

"It's quite concerning for us. They have no legal basis to have her detained."

Ghavami was arrested on June 20 after attempting to attend a men's volleyball match between Iran and Italy in Tehran's Azadi ("Freedom" in Farsi) Stadium.

Female fans and women journalists were told they could not attend, leading to a brief protest.

Ghavami was initially released after a few hours, but was rearrested days later at a police station, when she went to reclaim items that had been confiscated near the stadium.

Women are banned from attending volleyball and football matches in Iran, which officials say protects them from lewd behaviour.

No reason was given for her sentencing, but Ghavami was accused of spreading anti-regime propaganda, a broad charge often used by the Iranian judiciary.

Officials have said that Ghavami was arrested for security reasons unrelated to the sporting event.

Ghavami previously went on hunger strike for two weeks before her sentencing, when she was detained for months before going on trial behind closed doors.

Her case has drawn international attention, described by Amnesty International as "appalling".

The British Foreign Office has raised concerns about the court's ruling as well as "grounds for this prosecution, due process during the trial and Miss Ghavami's treatment while in custody".

Ghavami's family have said that at least 41 days of her detention before trial were spent in solitary detention.

The case comes as Iran is under pressure for its human rights record, after the easing of Iran's international isolation with the election of moderate Hassan Rouhani as president.

Questioned over increasing executions and detentions under his rule, Rouhani has said the judiciary is independent of his government.

Read more on:    iran  |  gender equality  |  human rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.