Security issues mount for Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi, who competed and not using a headband, as she quietly flies again to Tehran 2 days sooner than deliberate

Iranian sport climber Elnaz Rekabi competes in a earlier competitors.MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

  • Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi competed on Sunday with out sporting a hijab.

  • Her choice was seen as an act of solidarity with the women-led protests raging by way of Iran.

  • Reviews say she flew again to Tehran two days sooner than deliberate, prompting fears for her security.

Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi has flown again to Tehran from a world competitors in South Korea two days sooner than deliberate, in response to a number of experiences, prompting rising issues for her security.

Rekabi made headlines on Sunday after she competed with out sporting a customary hijab in a finals occasion on the Worldwide Federation of Sport Climbing’s Asian Championships.

Carrying the hijab is necessary for feminine Iranian athletes once they compete abroad, and Rekabi’s declining to don the headband was broadly seen as a historic present of solidarity with the women-led protests rocking Iran.

Rekabi’s alternative throughout her Sunday climb had been anticipated to result in extreme repercussions upon her return to Iran. On Monday night, BBC Persian reported that the athlete disappeared hours after contact together with her buddies was minimize off. Her passport and cell phone had been additionally taken, per the outlet.

BBC Presenter Rana Rahimpour later tweeted that Rekabi was on a flight to Iran two days sooner than deliberate.

Iranian citizen journalism web site IranWire reported that Rekabi can be immediately transferred to Evin Jail as soon as she arrives in Tehran, citing an unnamed supply. Rekabi was summoned to the Iranian embassy in Seoul after being instructed by a sporting official that she can be granted protected journey to Iran, the supply instructed the outlet.

“Elnaz made her choice to look and not using a hijab round a month in the past and knew that she was going to compete with out the necessary hijab,” the supply mentioned, in response to IranWire.

“She didn’t search asylum both as a result of her husband is in Iran, and she or he needed to return after the competitors. She at all times makes such daring choices,” they added, per the outlet.

The Iranian embassy in Seoul didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark.

A Persian-language report by IranWire additionally wrote that Rekabi’s brother, Daud Rekabi, was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on Monday morning Iran time. Insider was unable to confirm the authenticity of this report.

Each IranWire experiences declare the Rekabi siblings had been intercepted underneath the order of Mohammad Khosravivafa, the chairman of Iran’s Olympic Committee, who the outlet mentioned obtained orders in flip from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Iranian Olympic Committee didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark.

Rekabi’s refusal to put on the hijab got here amid weeks of protests in Iran over ladies’s rights. The motion resurged in September after the loss of life of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being taken into custody of Iran’s morality police. She had been arrested on accusation of not following Iran’s strict guidelines on sporting the hijab. Officers declare that Amini died of a sudden coronary heart assault, however her household and witnesses say she was taken right into a van and crushed.

The ensuing protests have seen ladies marching on metropolis streets and eradicating their headscarves in acts of defiance. Whereas these rallies have grown to additionally embody dissent over financial situations in Iran, ladies’s rights have remained on the forefront of the motion.

Iranian leaders have since cracked down in opposition to the demonstrations, with safety forces firing tear gasoline and arresting 1000’s.

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