British Iranian Activist Ghoncheh Ghavami Awaits Verdict in Trial

Ghoncheh Ghavami

A court in Iran staged a brief trial earlier this month for Ghoncheh Ghavami, the British Iranian activist who was arrested for attending a volleyball game, but the accused still awaits the final verdict. By attending the games, 25-year-old Ghavami, who is a law graduate from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, was understood to have violated the public segregation laws in Iran and taken into custody on charges of “propaganda against the regime.”

Ghavami was arrested when she and her colleagues from a women’s rights organization attempted to enter Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch a volleyball match between Iran and Italy. Since the country’s restrictive Islamic law forbids women from mingling with male spectators at a sports facility, Iran’s police found it rather convenient to have Ghavami arrested. The judiciary recently denied the charges against Ghavami relating to the stadium incident. However, it also divulged little information to the media, throwing upon the case a blanket of secrecy.

Ghavami has spent more than 100 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, including a period of 41 days in solitary confinement. She is currently staying in a shared cell, where she began a hunger strike earlier this month. Her last trial was held at Bureau 26 of Tehran’s Court of Revolution, where the judge specifically ordered lawyers not to divulge details about the case.

Sousan Moshtaghian, Ghavami’s mother, has been using her Facebook page to garner support and express hope for her daughter’s release. When she met Ghavami during a very brief visit, she requested her to end the hunger strike.

Of course, Ghavami’s detention has led to international outrage, with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani being heckled at a panel discussion in New York, where protesters had assembled, holding up Ghavami’s photos and pressing for her release. A petition demanding the same has received more than 600,000 signatures up until now.

Photo Credits: AB Magazine

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