Iranian-British woman gets year in prison after attending men’s volleyball game

Iranian-British woman gets year in prison after attending men’s volleyball game

TEHRAN: An Iranian-British woman detained while trying to attend a men’s volleyball game has been sentenced to one year in prison, her lawyer said Sunday.

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.

Women who sought to attend the World League match in June were reportedly turned away from the stadium. Female photographers inside the complex were ordered to leave though none were arrested. Ghavami was held for a few hours and then released but she was detained again a few days later. She stood trial last month.

Since her detention, Ghavami has been held in solitary confinement at Tehran’s Evin prison, according to Amnesty, which has criticized her detention. She began a hunger strike earlier this month over her detention, Amnesty says.

Iran’s judiciary spokesman, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, has criticized reports linking Ghavami’s arrest to volleyball, saying last month: “Her case has nothing to do with sports.”

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