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Iran: Woman Jailed for Attempting to Watch Men's Volleyball Game in Tehran

Iran: Woman Jailed for Attempting to Watch Men's Volleyball Game in Tehran

British-Iranian Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, has been locked up in Iran’s infamous Evin prison for over two months because she dared to attempt to watch a men’s volleyball game in Tehran.

On June 20, Ghavami and over a dozen others tried to watch the Iranian men’s national team take on Italy. After her initial apprehension, she was released but arrested shortly thereafter and thrown into Tehran’s Evin prison.

A 2013 Fox News article summarized first-hand what day-to-day life is like as a prisoner at Evin:

Beatings, torture, mock executions and brutal interrogations are the norm at Evin prison, where for four decades the anguished cries of prisoners have been swallowed up by the drab walls of the low-slung lockup in northwestern Tehran. Standing at the foot of the Alborz Mountains, it is home to an estimated 15,000 inmates, including killers, thieves and rapists. But the prison has also held ayatollahs, journalists, intellectuals and dissidents over the years, and few if any who have survived time in Evin.

Evin Prison

Ghavami’s brother said that she told her family that prison authorities have put her in solitary confinement for 41 days as punishment for her crime. “[The family] can barely hold themselves together. They are torn apart–not just my parents but my grandparents, my uncles, everybody,” Imam Ghavami told ITV news.

Ghavami and others had shown up to the stadium in an act of protest against Iran’s policy, where women are barred from watching men’s sports.

Iran’s police chief commented on the arrest: “In the current conditions, the mixing of men and women in stadiums is not in the public interest. The stance taken by religious scholars and the supreme leader remains unchanged, and as the enforcer of the law, we cannot allow women to enter stadiums.”


A Facebook campaign called Free Ghoncheh Ghavani was created on September 6 to plead her case. It has already garnered over 9,200 “likes.”


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