Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi received a hero’s welcome on her return to Tehran, after competing in South Korea without wearing a mandatory headscarf required of Iranian female athletes. Rekabi repeated that not wearing a hijab was “unintentional.”
Iranian competitive climber Elnaz Rekabi received a hero’s welcome on her return to Tehran early Wednesday, after competing in South Korea without wearing a mandatory headscarf required of female athletes from the Islamic Republic.
Rekabi’s decision not to wear the hijab while competing Sunday comes as protests sparked by the Sept. 16 death in custody of a 22-year-old woman have entered a fifth week. Mahsa Amini was detained by the country’s morality police over her clothing — and her death has seen women removing their mandatory hijabs in public.
The demonstrations, drawing school-age children, oil workers and others to the street in over 100 cities, represent the most-serious challenge to Iran’s theocracy since the mass protests surrounding its disputed 2009 presidential election.
Supporters and Farsi-language media outside of Iran have worried about Rekabi’s safety after she choose to compete without the hijab.