MP calls for permanent release of Shepherds Bush resident from Iranian jail

Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter appealed to the UK government today to support his constituent Ghoncheh Ghavami in her fight to be freed from an Iranian prison.

British Iranian Ms Ghavami was arrested in Tehran in June after staging a peaceful protest at a volleyball match.

Iran banned women from volleyball games in 2012, extending a long-standing ban on football matches.

Ms Ghavami was later released from prison then re-arrested on a charge of spreading anti-regime propaganda.

Sunday marked a turning point in her family’s fight for Ms Ghavami’s freedom after she was released on bail amid concerns for her health five months into a 12-month sentence.

Her mother, Susan Moshtaghian, confirmed that they had collected Ms Ghavami from Qarchak prison and that she is bailed out until her court of appeal.

Ms Moshtaghian said: “We thank all of you that stayed with us and I hope the court accept the complete innocence of my daughter.”

Ms Ghavami’s MP, Andy Slaughter, who has campaigned for her release, told SW Londoner that the news came as a surprise to him and the family.

He said: “The signs of the previous week had been that she might actually in addition to having a years sentence which she’d served five months were that they might try to prosecute her on more trumped up charges with a five or six year sentence.”

He added that the good news is tempered by the fact that she is only released on bail and that the  appeal process could result in her return to prison.

Mr Slaughter is in talks with the Foreign Minister to involve the UK government in the campaign for Ms Ghavami’s permanent release.

He also encouraged people to sign the Free Ghoncheh petition and write to their MPs and the Foreign Minister.

Mr Slaughter said: “This is a crucial time where we have made some process and we really need to keep the pressure and the publicity up.”

To sign the Free Ghoncheh petition, click this link:


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