For Immediate Release Iran: Women Detained, Accused of Flouting Stadium Ban FIFA Should Enforce Nondiscrimination Rules, Secure Women’s Release (New York, August 16, 2019) – The Iranian government should release women detained because they are ...

Click here to read this mailing online.

Your email updates, powered by FeedBlitz

Here is a sample subscription for you. Click here to start your FREE subscription

"IRAN WATCH CANADA " - 5 new articles

  2. Appeal Court Sentenced Farhad Meysami To Six Years Imprisonment.....
  3. FIFA And The Presence Of Iranian Women In Sports Stadiums .....
  4. Mohammad Rasoulof : My Crime , Making Film About Corruption In The Government Offices.....
  5. Noushin Jafari photojournalist For Cinema & Theaters is arrested .....
  6. More Recent Articles

For Immediate Release

Iran: Women Detained, Accused of Flouting Stadium Ban
FIFA Should Enforce Nondiscrimination Rules, Secure Women’s Release

(New York, August 16, 2019) – The Iranian government should release women detained because they are alleged to have dressed as men to circumvent a ban on women attending football matches, Human Rights Watch said today. Among the women reportedly detained on August 13, 2019 are Zahra Khoshnavaz, a prominent advocate for ending the ban on women and girls attending public sporting events, and Forough Alaei, a leading photojournalist. 

Iran bans female spectators from football and other stadiums. The ban is not written into law or regulation, but is enforced by the country’s authorities. The ban is a clear violation of the rules in FIFA’s constitution, the Statutes, and its Human Rights Policy. Article 4 of the Statutes says discrimination against women “is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.” In June, the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino warned the Iranian Federation that it must take concrete steps to allow women in stadiums or else face sanctions. 

“Iranian women should not be spending a second in prison because authorities accuse them of peacefully attempting to defy a ridiculous ban that denies women and girls equal rights to attend a football match,” said Minky Worden, Director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch. “Iran should immediately and unconditionally release the women and lift the discriminatory ban on women attending sports matches.” 

Women and girls who want to attend major football matches in Iran have long had to disguise themselves as men and boys to peacefully exercise that right and thwart the ban. Many have posted videos on social media to show their defiance of the ban. 

Iran Wire, an online news outlet, reported on August 16 that the authorities in Iran had arrested six women, with two names unknown. The others include Leili Maleki and Hedieh Marvasti, who are both reportedly in Qarchak prison near Tehran. 

The four women whose identities are confirmed are well-known advocates who have previously called for lifting the ban. Khoshnavaz’s advocacy to overturn the ban has been covered extensively in Iranian and global media, which have shown photographs of her in disguises she wore to enter the stadiums. 

A source who was familiar with the arrests told Human Rights Watch that on August 13, the activists were called in for questioning at the Security Police office in Tehran, where they were held overnight. On August 14, authorities took the activists to the Vozara prosecutor’s office, where a judge issued a bond for them. However, they were not released, and later that day they were transferred to Qarchak prison. Activists have previously reported on the poor hygiene and safety conditions in Qarchak prison. 

"Ignoring the wishes of a big part of society just because there could be some future problems and saying that the infrastructure is not ready, is very, very cruel and an injustice," Khoshnavaz told Euronews in an interview.

Alaei, the photojournalist, won first prize in World Press Photo 2019 for her work documenting the cruel exclusion of women from stadiums in Iran. Defense of media freedom is a central principle in FIFA’s Human Rights Policy. 

For decades, Iranian women have put themselves in danger to document their exclusion from stadiums, which is a denial of women’s rights to be part of public spaces and the life of the country. Jafar Panahi’s award-winning 2006 film Offside depicts women and teenage girls arrested for trying to cheer for their teams. 

Beyond the women challenging the ban by disguising themselves, women’s rights advocates from @OpenStadiums and #NoBanForWomen have written to FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation for years with evidence of the country’s discrimination to demand that the federations uphold their own rules. 

Infantino, the FIFA president, visited a match in Iran’s Azadi (Freedom) stadium in March 2018, during which 35 women were arrested for trying to attend. While attending a November 2018 match in the same stadium, he gave undue praise to the Iranian government for the presence of women as “a real breakthrough,” though only a select group of women were allowed to attend.

Following these events and further detention of activists in June 2019, Infantino wrote a letter to Mehdi Taj, the head of the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. FIFA’s public letter set a July 15 deadline for Taj to inform him of the “concrete steps” the Iranian government were intending to take to lift its ban so that women will be allowed to attend 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Infantino expressed disappointment in the letter that Iran has reneged on its commitments to open stadiums to women.

FIFA has reported that its pressure on Iran apparently resulted steps for change. According to FIFA, in July the Iran Federation Executive Council decided to allow women in stadiums for World Cup qualifiers and began discussing how that would be carried out, such as for ticketing and seating, with Iran authorities for the October 10, 2019 men’s World Cup qualifying match.

“FIFA has clear rules that require members to allow women to attend matches and to protect press freedom, yet FIFA has not taken meaningful action to enforce its own regulations,” Worden said. “The latest detentions show that much stronger action than a verbal warning is needed from FIFA and that it needs to impose sanctions for such blatant, long-standing gender discrimination.”

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Iran, please visit:

For more information, please contact: 
In New York, Minky Worden (English, German, Cantonese): +1-917-497-0540 (mobile); or Twitter: @MinkyHighjinks
In Washington DC, Tara Sepehri Far (English, Farsi): +1-617-893-0375 (mobile); or Twitter: @sepehrifar
In London, Rothna Begum (English): +1-917-443-2221; or Twitter: @Rothna_Begum


Appeal Court Sentenced Farhad Meysami To Six Years Imprisonment.....

News from Iran ..

Mohammad Moghimi the defence lawyer for Farhad Meysami said, the appeal court sentenced my client Farhad Meysami to six years imprisonment and one year ban from any social activities and the sentencing was addressed to my client in Evin prison .

Farhad was sentenced 5 years for participation in gathering and protest and one year for propaganda against the regime . He is banned from any social activities for one year.


FIFA And The Presence Of Iranian Women In Sports Stadiums .....

This minister of sport is trying to buy time and in fact deceiving FIFA
After FIFA's ultimatum to the Ministry of sports regarding the presence of women ( half of the Iranian population ) into the stadiums , brought a wave of support particularly among Iranian women to this initiation by FIFA . FIFA's ultimatum to Iran's sports federation was, either let the women enter  into the stadiums or not to participate in 2020 world match in Qatar.

Sports officials in the Islamic regime follow the policy of the regime and in a way sports have become politicized . Sports officials carries Sharia law in all area of sports and FIFA must continue to put pressure on sports officials and the good thing is , they have the supports of majority of Iranian people .

Sports officials in the Islamic regime is trying to buy time and this is not acceptable . FIFA must not listen to this petty officials and demand the rights of all women to be able to attend the stadiums and watch their favourite games .



Mohammad Rasoulof : My Crime , Making Film About Corruption In The Government Offices.....

Mohammad Rasoulof Is an Iranian film maker who is currently in prison for making film about corruption in the government offices.

Recently Jafarpanahi and Iranian International award winning spoke about the imprisonment of Mohammad Rasoulof and called all independent film makers and scholars not to keep silence and voice out .......( this was posted previously in Iran Watch Canada ).

The following picture shows the Iranian independent film makers gathered in front of Tehran court of revolution and demanded for the release of their colleague Mohammad Rasoulof .


Noushin Jafari photojournalist For Cinema & Theaters is arrested .....

According to HRANA news ,

Noushin Jafari the photojournalist for cinema and theatre is arrested by the security forces of the Islamic regime and was transferred to an unknown location and her whereabouts is unknown. Her arrest happened without any judiciary summons.
Ms. Jafari have been arrested in the past but was released .
She is known for her photo exhibition and her work in TV series Shahrzad and other movies .....



More Recent Articles

You Might Like

Safely Unsubscribe ArchivesPreferencesContactSubscribePrivacy