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Amnesty demands Iran release woman jailed for trying to watch volleyball

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Amnesty demands Iran release woman jailed for trying to watch volleyball

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Amnesty International says Iran must release a British-Iranian woman sentenced to a year in jail for trying to attend a men’s volleyball game.

Convicted of spreading anti-state propaganda, Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, had taken part in a demonstration in Tehran against a ban on Iranian women watching certain male sports.

Amnesty described her as "a prisoner of conscience, punished for simply calling for equality".

The semi-official ILNA news agency quoted her lawyer, Alireza Tabatabaie, on Saturday as saying that her sentence may be cut due to previous good behaviour.

Iranian women in the Islamic Republic are banned from watching certain male sports events such as football and volleyball. Iran does not recognise dual citizenship and treats dual nationals as Iranians.

Ghavami was released soon after her arrest in June but was re-arrested days later when she was called back to reclaim personal belongings that authorities had confiscated. In October, she went on a two-week hunger strike.