British-Iranian woman jailed for watching men’s volleyball released

Ghoncheh Gavami was detained in June after trying to attend a men’s volleyball match between Iran and Italy. Photo: AP  

Iranian authorities released British-Iranian Ghoncheh Ghavami on bail on Sunday, ISNA news agency said. She was detained in June after trying to attend a men’s volleyball match between Iran and Italy, in defiance of a push by hard-liners to enact full gender segregation.

The report quoted Sousan Moshtaghian, mother of Ghavami, as saying a judge released her daughter on nearly $30,000 bail ahead of an appeal.

“My daughter has insisted in the initial court that she is not guilty,” said Moshtaghian. “We are hopeful that she will be acquitted in the appeal court.”

The case highlighted limitations placed on women inside Iran and efforts by hard-line authorities to enforce strict interpretations of Islamic norms despite a policy of greater openness being pursued by moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

Ghavami will be free until an appeals court rules on her case, her mother said. She confirmed that an initial ruling had sentenced Ghavami to a year in prison for “propagating against the ruling system.”

Britain had raised concerns about Ghoncheh Ghavami’s trial. She is a graduate of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and had been volunteering to help street kids in Iran for a few months, her brother has said.

Ghavami was held along with the other protesters for a few hours before being released. She was detained again a few days later. Amnesty said she had been held in solitary confinement for much of her time at Tehran’s Evin prison.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 7:40:06 PM |

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