Target: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Goal: Repeal a one-year prison sentence for woman arrested for watching live volleyball in Iran
Ghoncheh Ghavami was one of a group of female activists who were arrested for attempting to watch a live game of volleyball in Iran on June 20, 2014. Following hunger strikes from Ghavami, the courts decided to release her into the custody of her parents over health concerns. Ghavami’s family reports that the activist was released on bail, but has been sentenced to one year in prison and a two-year travel ban. Demand the activist’s sentence be immediately repealed.
In 2012, a law was passed in Iran banning women from watching volleyball games, ostensibly to protect them from the inappropriate behavior of the male crowd. Women have long been banned from other live games, but volleyball was recently added to that list. The women were purportedly beaten, as well as arrested, and were later released, but Ghavami was rearrested on charges of propaganda against the current political regime.
While in prison, Ghavami staged hunger strikes protesting her illegal detention. Thousands of signatures were added to petitions calling for her release. She was recently released into her parents’ custody on bail over health concerns. According to her family, Ghavami was charged with “propaganda against the state,” banned from travel for two years, and sentenced to one year in prison. The Iranian government has denied that she was charged for attempting to watch the volleyball game, and told local news that the charges were for political activism in opposition to Iran’s ruling party. The reason for her conviction has not been officially stated.
Ghavami is British-Iranian and possesses dual citizenship. Unfortunately, the British government has no control over her protection, as she is also a citizen of Iran and subject to its laws. Sign this petition and demand Ghavami’s sentence be repealed and the activist be allowed to remain free.
Dear President Rouhani,
Ghoncheh Ghavami has been illegally detained and sentenced to a two-year travel ban and a one-year jail sentence, despite the Iranian government never having released an official reason for her conviction. Arbitrary detainment and sentencing of any individual is in violation of her international human rights.
Not only does Ghavami deserve an official conviction, but there is concern from the British government surrounding the circumstances of her treatment whilst detained, as well as her right to due process.
As citizens of the world, women should be allowed to watch and enjoy live sporting events without interference from the government or from men. I urge you to release Ghavami and repeal her sentences immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Miala via Flickr