An Iranian rock climber, who did not wear a headscarf in an international competition in South Korea, has returned to her Iran Meanwhile, Iranian groups based abroad are raising concerns about their fate back home.
Elnaz Rakabi, 33, competed without a headscarf during the Asian Championships held in Seoul on Sunday. Videos of her wearing a headband and her hair in a ponytail during the competition went viral on social media.
According to the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency, Rikabi arrived in Tehran early Wednesday morning. Videos posted on social media show her arrival at the capital’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. She was also seen speaking to the media.
More videos posted on social media appeared to show crowds gathered inside and outside the airport, chanting “Elnaz the hero.”
It was not clear if Rikabi was in custody or if she would face repercussions.
Her return to Iran comes amid National protests in the country Calling for more freedoms for women, continued(g) The death of a 22-year-old woman who died in police custody After she was arrested for allegedly wearing a headscarf inappropriately.
A protester said Iranian security forces fired “military bullets” at homes
In a story posted on my passenger Instagram page on Tuesday, the player said she was called to climb the wall “unexpectedly” which “unintentionally” caused a problem with her hair cap.
“Because of poor timing and unexpectedly being called to climb the wall, I inadvertently created a problem with my headgear,” she wrote.
The IG story said, “I apologize for the concerns I’ve caused… Currently, as per the predetermined schedule, I will be returning to Iran with the team.”
Iran requires women to wear the headscarf when officially representing the country abroad.
A news website critical of the Iranian regime, IranWire, claimed that Rikabi would be taken to prison upon her arrival, prompting rights groups to worry about what would happen to her.
On Monday, Amnesty International said it was concerned about the possible return of my passengers.
Amnesty said in a statement that “Elnaz Rekabi should not be forcibly returned to Iran,” adding that she “is at real risk of arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment for violating the authorities’ mandatory veil rules.”
CNN cannot independently verify reports that Rachabi has been forced back to Iran.
The Iranian embassy in Seoul said Rekapi left on Tuesday with “other members of the team” and “strongly denied all false and false news and disinformation.”
The embassy posted on Twitter a photo of Rekapi from previous matches in Russia where she was competing while wearing a headscarf.
“It is understood that all members of the Iranian delegation, including Elnaz Rekabi, have already left Korea after attending the sporting event,” South Korea’s foreign ministry told CNN in a statement.
“The punishment has already begun,” Mahmoud Reza Amiri Moghadam, director of the Norway-based Iranian Human Rights Organization, told CNN on Tuesday.
“You know, the fact that she was incommunicado for a whole day… Then she just wrote this message on her Instagram. So, the pressure on her really started from South Korea,” he said, “I don’t think anyone believes what the authorities are saying. Iranian”.
The International Federation of Sports Climbing (IFSC) said it was “fully aware of the news” about my runner and “understood” that she will be returning to Iran.
There is a lot of information in the public domain about Ms. Rakabi and as an organization we are trying to establish the facts. “We have also been in contact with Ms. Rekabi and the Iranian Climbing Association,” a statement from the IFSC said.
“We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves as soon as it arrives,” the statement said.
Calls made to two of the Iranian team’s coaches who are currently in Seoul went unanswered.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the day my passengers were said to have left Seoul.
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