Iran cancels Briton’s jail term

p32474UK-News-7-1

Published: Tuesday 31st March 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

An Iranian-British woman jailed for trying to attend a men’s volleyball game in Iran will not have to return to prison.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, 26, was was freed on bail in November after being arrested at a Tehran stadium as she tried to attend a men’s volleyball match between Iran and Italy.

A court has now waived the remainder of the sentence after the former law student, from Shepherd’s Bush in west London, lodged an appeal against the charges earlier this month.

Ms Ghavami spent 151 days in an Iranian prison after being found guilty of “propagating against the ruling system”.

Her brother, Iman, 28 said: “As we were celebrating Iranian new year, the Iranian government wiped out the rest of my sister’s sentence.

“This means Ghoncheh will not have to spend another day in prison. This is amazing news. My mum has finally become her old happy self.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of everyone who backed my campaign, signed my petition on Change.org and never lost faith that we would eventually bring my sister home.”

More than 777,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling for the Ms Ghavami’s release.

She was taking part in a protest against a ban on women in Iran attending sporting events in the company of men in public stadiums when she was arrested.

The Iranian authorities held her in solitary confinement for 41 days in Tehran’s Evin Prison from June 30 before moving her to a shared cell.

While in prison the University of London’s School of African and Oriental Studies graduate staged two hunger strikes, lasting 14 and six days each.

In Iran propaganda against the regime is a crime which carries a potential prison sentence of up to one year.

Despite the charges against her being dropped, Ms Ghavami faces a two-year travel ban.

Iman Ghavami said that the family had previously heard unconfirmed rumours that his sister was to be pardoned.

But it was not until today that she received paperwork confirming that she had effectively been pardoned.

Mr Ghavami said: “My sister now wants to move on with her life. When she was released on bail things were really difficult but they have improved over the last few months.

“She won’t be challenging the travel ban because the authorities have been generous but maybe through a dialogue of some sort we can try to have that lifted too.

“The campaign had a tremendous effect from day one. Before it started we were all hopeless and we did not see any other option but to go public.

“When we did, from day one we started to get support and it grew and grew over the months, with people signing the petition from all over the world.

“It has been successful thanks to the support of the people and the press and we will be eternally grateful.”

Published: Tuesday 31st March 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search