Home News Iran’s Elnaz Rekabi competes in climbing return after headscarf controversy

Iran’s Elnaz Rekabi competes in climbing return after headscarf controversy

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Elnaz Rekabi Headscarf Controversy

Elnaz Rekabi did not qualify for the semi-finals in her comeback attempt

Elnaz Rekabi, from Iran, recently participated in her inaugural climbing contest after gaining international recognition for competing bareheaded last year.

The 33-year-old, now donning a headscarf, concluded the boulder World Cup event in Brixen, Italy in a joint 41st position, missing the semi-finals.

Rekabi had previously competed without a headscarf in a South Korean contest in October.

Later, she apologized, stating that it had accidentally slipped off. However, according to an informant speaking to BBC Persian, she was compelled to make this apology.

The source claimed that her family’s assets were threatened by the authorities. Reports emerged in December that her family villa had been demolished.

Discontent over the compulsory headscarf has sparked protests across Iran. These demonstrations were triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman detained by the morality police in Tehran on 13th September for purportedly wearing her headscarf too loosely.

The law mandates women in the country to cover their hair with a headscarf or hijab and wear loose clothing covering their arms and legs. Female athletes must also adhere to this dress code when they officially represent Iran in overseas competitions.

Reports from Iranian media suggest that the Ministry of Sports and Youth asked Rekabi for a financial guarantee and a house deed prior to her departure for the Italian competition, which was also part of the Olympic selection process.

Such conditions are typically applied to Iranian athletes competing outside the country.

Watch: Iranian rock climber competes without hijab

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Jordan S. June 10, 2023 - 12:18 am

So it’s back to the old story huh? Women being controlled and threatened.. It’s just not right. Not right at all!

Amelia P. June 10, 2023 - 12:18 am

i feel for elnaz… imagine training so hard to compete, and then being dragged into political stuff.

Greg T June 10, 2023 - 12:18 am

Gotta say it’s good to see she’s not giving up and still competing. But it’s sad what’s happening in Iran. women deserve freedom too…

Ayesha M. June 10, 2023 - 12:18 am

This makes my heart ache, poor girl. But i’m proud of her for not backing down. keep climbing, elnaz!

Zach B. June 10, 2023 - 12:18 am

Kinda messed up she had to apologise for a scarf falling off… let’s hope things change over there, for her sake and all the others.


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