Iranian Rock Climber Competes Without a Hijab


Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi competed in Seul without a hijab, which is, punishable by law in Iran.

Key Points:

  • Iranian women that compete in sporting events are mandated to wear a headscarf, no matter the country.
  • Elnaz competed without a hijab.
  • On Tuesday, she left South Korea after finishing fourth in the competition. It was assumed that she was protesting the hijab law in Iran by not wearing one at the competition.
  • The BBC reported that passport and mobile phone had been confiscated before she boarded a plane.
  • On Twitter, the Iranian embassy in South Korea refuted rumours that she had vanished after the tournament.
  • Soon after, Rekabi posted on her Instagram page that she and the rest of the crew were their route back to Iran.
  • According to her statement, she wasn't protesting the government when she competed without a hijab citing a scheduling issue as a reason.
  • It is believed that Elnaz was threatened and forced to make a statement.

Update: After receiving a hero's welcome at the airport in Tehran, Elnaz reportedly was put under house arrest.