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Iranian Woman Jailed for Watching Volleyball Goes on Hunger Strike

Ghoncheh Ghavami, the female British-Iranian law student who was arrested by Iranian authorities for trying to attend volleyball game played by male athletes in Iran, has begun a hunger strike yesterday, as reported by Fox News. She has been held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for 100 days.

Law student Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, was visiting family and working for a charity organization in Iran when she was arrested for attempting to attend a men-only volleyball match last June, then imprisoned for three months before being charged with “propaganda against the regime.” …

A law that prevents women from entering sports venues was enacted in 2012, when it was deemed that mixed crowds were “un-Islamic” because the male athletes are not considered fully dressed.

Fox reports that her brother has collected 500,000 signatures on a petition urging the British government to take action on behalf of Ghavami. President Hassan Rouhani told CNN that it does not recognize Ghavami’s British citizenship. Her mother, Susan Moshtaghian, has joined Ghavami in a hunger strike.

Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, another prisoner of the regime who is in jail for advocating a separation between religion and politics, has reportedly been taken to a cell where prisoners are taken to await execution. His family fears that his health is failing and claims that he’s been denied the necessary medical care by authorities.

Yeganeh Salehi, the wife of The Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian, has been released from prison, though her husband remains incarcerated. Salehi reported that Rezaian was in “good health,” despite concerns about his high blood pressure. The couple was arrested in July on unspecified charges. When asked about fate of the reporter, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed his confidence in “the Iranian judicial system.”

Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26 year old woman jailed for killing her attempted rapist, faces execution today as a ten day reprieve she received last month expires. Her case led to an international outcry calling on the Iranian government to spare her life.

Last month, an Iranian court sentenced six stars of a lip-synced dance video cover of Pharrell Williams song “Happy” to lashes. In June, authorities arrested three people for appearing in a video celebrating Iran’s appearance in the World Cup. An Iranian actress, Leila Hatami, was threatened with flogging for kissing the head of  the Cannes Film Festival.

[Photo: BBC Newsnight / YouTube ]