FIVB President Graça calls for release of British-Iranian detainee at World Congress
Cagliari, Italy, November 1, 2014 - All 210 attending national volleyball federations gave a spontaneous two-minute standing ovation on Saturday as a show of support to President of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Dr. Ary S. Graça F°’s plea to Iran to release British-Iranian detainee Ghoncheh Ghavami who has been detained for 18 weeks for trying to attend a men’s volleyball match in Tehran.
President Graça addressed the federations at the end of the 34th FIVB World Congress in Cagliari by reminding them of Ghavami’s plight and the need to show unified support to secure her release and reminding them of the need to give men and women worldwide, equal rights to participate in sport.
President Graça addressed the Congress with the following remarks:
"Dear colleagues, as you know there is a woman in Iran called Ghoncheh Ghavami who has been detained for 126 days. She was detained for attending the Iranian men’s volleyball team match against Italy in Tehran. We never normally seek to interfere with the laws of any country. But in accordance with the Olympic Charter, the FIVB is committed to inclusivity and the right of women to participate in sport on an equal basis.
"As you know, I have written to the President of Iran, His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, asking him to intervene on this most sensitive matter to try and secure her release. The Iranian National Volleyball Federation has also worked continuously to secure her release. However she remains detained. So dear friends, I am sure that you will join me today in continuing to state the FIVB’s strongest wish that Ghoncheh Ghavami should be released immediately. And that women throughout the world should be allowed to watch and participate in volleyball on an equal basis."