Iran: Female Football Fan Dies After Setting Herself on Fire

Iran: Female Football Fan Dies After Setting Herself on Fire

Published by on September 16, 2019

Sahar Khodayari, a female Iranian football fan who set herself on fire, after being arrested for trying circumventing a law banning women in stadiums, in Tehran, has died from her injuries, causing widespread outrage. According to the state media reports, she died at hospital on Monday, September 9, after her self-immolation outside a court, as she feared being jailed for six months.

Sahar Khodayari had been arrested in March for attempting to enter Azadi Stadium, in Tehran. A judiciary official said she was charged with “insulting the public by defying the dress code for women,” and “insulting the law enforcement agents.”

Sahar’s sister told ROKNA news agency: “After being taken to Qarchak Prison in Varamin, my sister suffered a lot of mental issues and felt terrified.”

Sahar was jailed for three days and then was released on bail and waited six months for her court case.

She attended the court but the first hearing was postponed because the judge had a family emergency. She returned to the court to pick up her mobile phone and it is widely reported that she is thought to have overheard someone saying that if she were convicted she could get six months to two years in prison.

Sahar Khodayari then set herself alight in front of the court house and later died in hospital.

This case is one of the latest consequences of unnecessary and illegal restrictions imposed on women in Iran. Iran is the only country in the world that stops and punishes women seeking to enter football stadiums.

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