Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi competed on October 16 at the Asian Championships in Seoul without a hijab, violating Iranian law that requires women to wear a hijab even abroad. For such a violation in Iran, punishment is provided up to prison.
According to the BBC, Rekabi's friends said that the athlete stopped communicating after the championship. According to these data, Elnaz's passport and mobile phone were confiscated.
On October 18, Rekabi apologized on Instagram for her act, writing that she was sorry for the disturbance caused. She noted that the decision to remove the hijab was unintentional, and now she and her team are returning from Seoul to Iran.
Rekabi placed fourth at the 2022 Asian Championships. She became the first Iranian athlete in 43 years to compete bareheaded. According to the world media, the girl took this step as a sign of support for the protests that have been ongoing in the country since September.
The protests began after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in hospital on September 16, three days after she was arrested and reportedly beaten by vice police in Tehran. Witnesses reported that Amini was beaten in the detention van, but the police denied this.
The International Sport Climbing Federation said it is monitoring the situation around Rekabi, "trying to establish all the circumstances" and is in touch with the athlete and Iranian sports officials.