By Daniel Etchells

Iman Ghavami insists his sister has not broke the law ©TwitterThe brother of British-Iranian woman Ghoncheh Ghavami, reportedly given a year's jail sentence for attending an International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World League match in Tehran in June, has claimed that she did not force her way into the stadium and was allowed to enter by the authorities. 

Iman Ghavami's sister Ghoncheh, a 25-year-old law student based in London, was detained after attending the match between Iran and Italy at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on June 20, subsequently spending over 120 days behind bars before a hearing on October 14.

After a series of delays before her sentence was revealed, lawyer Alizadeh Tabatabaie claimed yesterday he had been told by the judge that a one-year jail sentence will be awarded.

This comes after a 25-year long rule banning women from attending football matches in the Islamic nation was extended to volleyball in 2012, although Iranian officials claim Ghoncheh was detained for spreading "propaganda against the regime" rather than directly for attending the match.

But speaking to Channel 4 News, Iman insists his sibling has done nothing wrong.

"At the time, the President of Iran was advocating for women to have the right to get into the stadiums and Iran also had a formal agreement with the International Volleyball Federation so that women could get into stadiums and watch the match," he said.

"It is important to say that she did not break a single law that day because she did not force her way into the stadium.

"She was simply asking for the guards to let her past the gates, so I still don't understand why she would be arrested in the first place."

Although Ghoncheh brought an end to a two-week hunger strike, which she carried out in protest over the mistreatment she claims she is receiving in prison and the lack of access to her official lawyer and family and friends, Iman said she is still recovering from it three weeks later.

Iman stressed that Ghoncheh still does not know what the official verdict is and said the UK's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Prime Minister David Cameron "have raised the issue with their Iranian counterparts".

"We've get some level of optimism but things are happening so fast that we cannot really predict what is going to happen next, so I think we're in a constant state of adaptation and adjustment," added Iman.

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