Ghoncheh Ghavami Held in Solitary Confinement in Iran for Trying to Watch a Men’s Volleyball Match

Thursday, 11 September 2014 10:50

Ailed for women’s right to watch sports.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, a 25-year-old Iranian-British national, has been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison since 30 June, largely in solitary confinement without access to her lawyer. She is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for taking part in a peaceful protest against the ban on women attending Volleyball World League matches in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, an Iranian-British national, was arrested on 30 June 2014 when she went to Tehran’s Vozara Detention Center to collect her mobile phone, which had been taken from her earlier on 20 June when she was arrested at a protest against the ban on women being present in sport stadiums and detained in Vozara Detention Centre for several hours. On 30 June, plainclothes agents went with her to her house to confiscate her laptop and books and then took her to Section 2A of Evin Prison, where she was kept in solitary confinement, without access to her family or lawyer for 41 days. She was subsequently transferred to a cell shared with another inmate. Ghoncheh Ghavami has said that during her prolonged solitary confinement, the interrogators put her under psychological pressure, threatening to move her to Gharchak Prison in the county of Varamin, Tehran Province, where prisoners convicted of serious criminal offences are held in dismal conditions, and telling her that she “would not walk out of prison alive”.

Amnesty International understands that Ghoncheh Ghavami has not been formally charged but remains under investigation for “propaganda against the state”, stemming from her involvement in peaceful activities to end discrimination against women. On 1 September, she reportedly challenged the decision of the prosecutor to extend her detention for another two months, which is now being examined by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:

Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Ghoncheh Ghavami immediately and unconditionally, as she has been held solely for the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedoms of expression, association and assembly;

Calling on them to ensure that she is protected from all forms of torture and other ill-treatment, and that she is no longer held in solitary confinement or isolation;

Urging them to allow her regular visits from her family and her lawyer.


Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter: @khamenei_ir

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

c/o Public Relations Office

Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Hassan Rouhani

The Presidency

Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Twitter:@HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)