Elnaz Rekabi: Iranian climber returns from Seoul tournament amid hijab controversy

DUBAI: An Iranian rock climber who competed in an international competition without a headscarf said she did so unintentionally, after she was widely believed to have expressed support for the protests in Iran.
Scene of Elnaz Rekabi33 years old, showed her magnifying a wall without covering her head during the Asian competition in south Korea while representing Iran, which has been swept by protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in ethical police custody.
Citing a source, BBC Persian previously reported that friends had been unable to contact her and there were concerns for her safety. The Iranian Embassy in South Korea, on Twitter, denied information about her disappearance after the competition.
In a statement posted on her Instagram account, Rekabi said she was on her way back to Iran with the rest of the team.
The statement said her failure to wear a hijab during the competition was accidental, adding that “had a poor schedule and I was required to climb unpredictable”.
The International Sports Climbing Federation (IFSC) said it had contacted Rekabi and was “trying to verify the facts”. The IFSC will continue to monitor the situation as it develops upon her arrival in Iran. It adds that the safety of the athletes is paramount and it supports their right to freedom of expression.
Amini died last month while in the custody of the Islamic Republic’s ethics police for “inappropriate attire”, sparking nationwide protests in which women took off and burned scarves. boss.
The protests sparked by Amini’s death have become one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution, although unrest seems unlikely to topple the system. .
The IFSC, in a statement, said it has also been in contact with Iran Mountaineering Federation.
“We understand that she is returning to Iran and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops upon her arrival,” it said in a statement.
“The safety of our athletes is paramount to us and we support all efforts to keep a key member of our community safe during this situation,” the statement said. added.
“IFSC fully supports athletes’ rights, their choice and freedom of expression.”
Rekabi placed fourth in the competition. Last year, she won a bronze medal in the women’s mix at the 2021 IFSC Climbing World Championships.


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