Covered with a veil and a black cap, the climber said she felt “stressed” and “tense” on her return to the country
The Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi was received this Wednesday to the cry of “champion” by dozens of people who were waiting for her in tehran airport, after competing in South Korea without a veil, required by law in Iran, in apparent support of the protests in the Persian country.
“Elnaz, champion”, shouted dozens of people between applause when the 33-year-old climber left Imam Khomeini International Airport at dawn, according to videos shared on social networks by activists.
The athlete was also received by her family, who hugged her long, having expressed fears for his safety after competing in the Asian Climbing Championship held in South Korea without a veil and with a ponytail in the air during the weekend.
— Shoura Hashemi (@ShouraHashemi) October 19, 2022
Covered with a veil and a black cap, The climber said she felt “stressed” and “tense” on her return to the country, and repeated the apologies she offered on Instagram yesterday about the lack of a hijab.
“I was busy putting on my shoes and gear, and that made me forget to put on the veil”, told the state agency IRNA at the airport.
I return to Iran with a peaceful mind even though I feel a lot of stress and tension. But thank God, nothing has happened,” he said.
After those statements got into a van and left the airfield.
The gesture of the climber has been seen as a brave show of support for women from your country who have been protesting for weeks against the obligation to wear the veil after the death in September of the young Mahsa Amini, after being arrested for improperly wearing the veil.
Before his arrival in Iran, the Iranian embassy in Seoul had denied “all fake news and misinformation” related to the athlete, who according to media such as the BBC had had her passport and phone withdrawn.
The protests unleashed by the death on September 16 of Amini they are mainly carried out by young people and women shouting “woman, life, freedom”, who launch slogans against the Government and burn veils, one of the symbols of the Islamic Republic and something unthinkable not long ago.
The protests have been evolving as the authorities have reacted: they began with medium mobilizations in dozens of cities to move to the universities, and from them to small concentrations, sporadic and scattered through the streets, to return to the faculties.
The NGO Iran Human Rightsbased in Oslo, has recorded 108 deaths, including 23 minors, aged 11 to 17.
In addition, there are thousands of detainees, including former soccer players, activists, lawyers and singers, some of whom have been released on bail.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.