Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, was arrested along with more than a dozen women as they tried to enter a stadium where the Iranian national men’s team was playing Italy on 20 June.
She was released from custody but when she went back to collect her belongings days later, she was arrested a second time and transferred to Tehran’s notorious Evin jail, which is known for holding political prisoners and journalists.
Miss Ghavami’s brother, 28-year-old Iman Ghavami, said she rang her family in tears saying she had been put in solitary confinement for 41 days.
“[The family] can barely hold themselves together,” he told ITV News.
“They are torn apart – not just my parents but my grandparents, my uncles, everybody.”
Miss Ghavami, a budding lawyer who studied in London, has dual Iranian and British nationality.
A Facebook campaign to free her has started, garnering almost 9,000 “likes” and lead to protests at other Iranian volleyball matches.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was “aware of reports” of her imprisonment and was looking into them but its diplomatic powers are limited in Iran.
She had been protesting with other female rights activists at the Azadi Stadium, which means “freedom”, against a ban on women watching male sports.
The law was introduced after the 1979 Islamic Revolution as mixed crowds enjoying games, where men are not considered fully dressed, was deemed un-Islamic.
“In the current conditions, the mixing of men and women in stadiums is not in the public interest,” said Iran’s head of police, Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam, according to the Fars news agency.
“The stance taken by religious scholars and the supreme leader remains unchanged, and as the enforcer of law, we cannot allow women to enter stadiums.”
The ban, which extends to female journalists, has been lifted in exceptional circumstances but hardliners have said it is needed to protect women from “lewd behaviour”.
Foreign women who have travelled to Iran to watch volleyball matches have been permitted inside venues in the past but only when displaying their passport.
Shahla Sherekat, the editor of a monthly women’s magazine Zanane Emrooz (Today’s Women) had published a report on the sports stadium law and was called before Iran’s Press Court after hardliners accused her of promoting feminism and un-Islamic values.
Human rights activists in Iran had hoped the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani would lead to more liberal laws and moves towards equality but the religious establishment under Ayatollah Khomeini holds huge power.
Nov 21, 2017 Comments Off on Saudi Arabia May Have Just Gifted Lebanon to Iran
Oct 30, 2017 Comments Off on Iran to ‘start building two new $10billion nuclear plants with Russia tomorrow’
Oct 24, 2017 Comments Off on Iran ‘sentences Sweden resident to death’ for spying
Oct 19, 2017 Comments Off on As Kirkuk’s Governor Is Forced to Flee, Iran Moves In
Nov 15, 2017 Comments Off on Iranian officials present a multi-million pound shopping list to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Nov 09, 2017 Comments Off on Husband of jailed British woman pleads with Boris Johnson to take him to Iran so he can see his wife
Oct 10, 2017 Comments Off on British woman jailed in Iran faces 16 more years in prison as fresh charges are brought
Oct 09, 2017 Comments Off on Imprisoned Teachers’ Rights Advocate Esmail Abdi Denied Sentence Review
Nov 21, 2017 Comments Off on Saudi Arabia May Have Just Gifted Lebanon to IranSaudi Arabia May Have Just Gifted Lebanon to Iran By now, there can be no reasonable doubt that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was detained in Saudi Arabia, and that he was forced to submit his resignation...
Nov 15, 2017 Comments Off on Iranian officials present a multi-million pound shopping list to free Nazanin Zaghari-RatcliffeIranian officials present a multi-million pound shopping list to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe IRANIAN officials have presented ministers with a multi-million pound shopping list of demands to free Nazanin...
Jul 14, 2016 Comments Off on Corps’ one hundred thousand of triggered missiles in Lebanon:An official Israel-threatening by CorpsIran Briefing: Since August 7, 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini declared the last Friday of Ramadhan as “Quds Day”, the Islamic Republic has always tried to hold an imposing ceremony by using state resources as well as requiring people’s involvement. This year’s Quds march had fundamental...