- by theguardian
- 24 Mar 2023
A female Iranian climber who competed in an international tournament without a hijab did so because her headscarf had dropped by mistake, a post on her Instagram account has claimed.
Nothing had been heard from Rekabi since the event in South Korea until a story was published on Tuesday morning on her Instagram account, where she has more than 200,000 followers.
The Iranian government routinely pressures activists at home and abroad, often airing what rights groups describe as coerced confessions on state television. The claim of an error on her Instagram account may suggest the regime is trying to avoid putting her in jail after the video of her without her hijab went viral.
The online news site Iran Wire reported Rekabi had been taken to the Iranian embassy in Seoul to ensure she could be flown home with minimal scrutiny.
So far, human rights groups estimate that more than 200 people have been killed in the protests and the violent security force crackdown that followed.
In 2019, the boxer Sadaf Khadem became the first Iranian woman since the Islamic revolution to win a fight overseas. Khadem opted to remain in France after the bout, after Iranian authorities reportedly issued a warrant for her arrest because she had boxed bareheaded and in shorts.
In a 2016 interview with France-based Euronews, Rekabi acknowledged that wearing a hijab while climbing could pose additional physical challenges.
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