Ghoncheh Ghavami ‘sentenced to year in prison’

3 years ago Tom King 0

Photo: Anoo Bhuyan

Tom King, BA Politics

Former SOAS student Ghoncheh Ghavami has been sentenced to a year in prison in Iran after being found guilty of “propaganda against the state”, according to her lawyer.

The verdict has not yet been officially released, but Alizadeh Tabatabaie, the lawyer representing Ghavami, says he has seen the text.

Initially arrested following a protest at a volleyball match at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium, Ghavami has been held in the city’s Evin Prison since June and spent 41 days in solitary confinement. Amnesty International had highlighted her case, saying she was a prisoner of conscience.

The women’s rights protest was opposing a ban on women attending volleyball matches which has been in place since 2012.

Ghavami holds dual British and Iranian nationality and the UK Foreign Office has said “We have concerns about the grounds for this prosecution, due process during the trial, and Miss Ghavami’s treatment whilst in custody”.

Students at SOAS held a protest last month to show solidarity with Ghavami. In a statement released in September, the Students’ Union said “We wish to express our deepest sympathies and solidarity with Ghoncheh and her loved ones, and our support for her brave action in defence of women’s rights and civil liberties.”