An Iranian competitive climber decided to protest the murder of an Iranian woman who broke the law in Iran regarding the wearing of a hijab in public.
Elnaz Rekabi, 33, was hailed as a “hero” when she competed at the Asian Championships in Seoul on Sunday without wearing a hijab.
Iranian officials did not take kindly to the protest.
Bring Her Back
After the event, there was a post on Rekabi’s social media account.
She apologized for not wearing the hijab, claiming it was just an accident.
She also stated, “I am currently on my way back to Iran alongside the team based on the pre-scheduled timetable.”
BBC Persia presenter Rana Rahmipour says that is not true.
Rahmipour stated, “Family and friends could not reach her, and then we found out she was put on a flight by Iranian officials.
“There are concerns about her safety.”
The report continued that after the event, Iranian officials confiscated her phone as well as her passport, then put her on a plane back to Iran.
Iran has denied it has taken the climber into custody.
The Iranian embassy stated, “all the fake, false news and disinformation” is being posted about the incident.
The Iranian Climbing Federation stated, “Our understanding is that she is returning to Iran, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops on her arrival.
“Athletes’ safety is paramount for us and we support any efforts to keep a valued member of our community safe in this situation.
“The IFSC fully support the rights of athletes, their choices, and expression of free speech.”
UPDATE 1:35 p.m CDT, per The Guardian: Rekabi has returned home and was met by a jubilant crowd. However, she is now maintaining that competing without the hijba was pure accident.
She stated, “Because I was busy putting on my shoes and my gear, it caused me to forget to put on my hijab and then I went to compete.
"I came back to Iran with peace of mind although I had a lot of tension and stress. But so far, thank God, nothing has happened.”
So, she was either not quite the "hero" she was being made out to be or government officials coerced her into changing her story to the public.
Source: New York Post