Iranian woman arrested for attending soccer game sets herself on fire

The incident comes just weeks after Iran released a group of women who were arrested for watching a men's soccer match.

By
September 5, 2019 17:07
1 minute read.
Iranian woman arrested for attending soccer game sets herself on fire

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group B - Morocco vs Iran - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 15, 2018 General view of a banner displayed referencing Iranian women during the match. (photo credit: REUTERS/DYLAN MARTINEZ)

A young Iranian woman set herself on fire to protest what she was told could be up to six months of jail time for watching a men's soccer game. She attempted to disguise herself in men's clothing, but was discovered, arrested and charged with violating modesty laws. The Iranian Rokna news agency, has only named the woman as "Sahar," the Telegraph reported.

"The 29-year-old is suffering from third-degree burns, and is currently under life support," said the CEO of Motahari Emergency and Burns Hospital, according to Radio Farda. Sahar reportedly suffered from burns on 90% of her body.

Rokna reported that Sahar's sister said, "They detained my sister on March 12, 2019, when she tried to enter Azadi Stadium, and watch Tehran's Esteqlal soccer club home match against the United Arab Emirates' Al Ain, FC."

This incident comes almost three weeks after Iran, under international pressure, released a group of women who were arrested for watching a men's soccer match. The women disguised themselves as men, just as Sahar did, but failed to fool Iranian officials.

Iran has consistently faced international scrutiny regarding its modesty laws. According to the Telegraph, Iran says that women watching men's soccer promotes promiscuity.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) brought the women's case to light, calling on Iran to lift the ban and release the women. HRW's Director of Global Initiatives, Minky Worden said that “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.”

Soccer's world governing body FIFA has rules against discrimination and has given the country an ultimatum that it must fulfill by October: Allow women to enter sports arenas or the Iranian team will be removed from international soccer events, Radio Farda reported.


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