European Parliament group condemns jailing of Iranian-British woman wanting to watch a volleyball match

Press Release by Friends of Free Iran, European Parliament

Friends of a Free Iran strongly condemns the harsh sentence against Iranian-British woman who wanted to watch a volleyball match

Law graduate Ghoncheh Ghavami, 26 has been sentenced to a year in prison in Iran for protesting at a volleyball match. Iranian authorities forbid women from attending men’s sporting events. She was held in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran for more than 100 days including 41 days in solitary confinement.

On 2 November she was sentenced to a one year imprisonment guilty of ‘spreading propaganda against the system’

Speaking from Brussels, Gérard Deprez, Chair of the Friends of a Free Iran (FoFI) in the European Parliament, said:

“Ms Ghavami’s absurd sentence and imprisonment once again confirms that Iranian government is fully determined to increase its harsh and cruel attitude towards women and against human rights activists despite international pleas.”

Contrary to the hopes in the west, the so called ‘moderate’ President Hassan Rouhani never protested to the shocking execution of the 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari two weeks ago but instead, through his spokesperson, warned the international community not to interfere in their internal affairs. Iran has also been a witness to a series of systematic acid attacks on women in the streets which have caused several deaths and severe injuries.

“This new tragic trend of systematic rights abuses targeting women in particular makes it ever more urgent for Europe to draw a clear line for any further engagement with Iran,” Deprez stressed.

Office of Gérard Deprez MEP
Chair of Friends of a Free Iran, European Parliament

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