Worry for Iranian climber rises

October 18, 2022

Our understanding is that she is returning to Iran, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops on her arrival.

The International Federation of Sport Climbing, who oversaw a recent climbing competition in which an Iranian climber competed without a hijab. Her exact location and condition is unknown, but many worry that she will be punished by the Iranian government.

Background: Women in Iran are required to wear a head covering and loose clothing; female athletes from Iran are expected to follow the dress code while competing in other countries. While at a climbing competition in South Korea on Sunday, an Iranian competitive climber, Elnaz Rekabi, did not wear a head covering. The timing: Protests continue across Iran following the death of a 22-year-old woman who died in govt. custody after reportedly being arrested for not adhering to the country’s dress code.

Why It Matters: Following the competition, a story posted on Rekabi’s Instagram account read: “Due to bad timing, and the unanticipated call for me to climb the wall, my head covering inadvertently came off.” However, some news outlets and those close to Rekabi suggest that Iranian authorities have seized her phone and will take her into custody. This is a developing story.

Worry grows for Iran woman athlete who climbed without hijab (The Associated Press)

Iranian female climber says hijab ‘fell off accidentally’ at competition (BBC)

Elnaz Rekabi’s Instagram account

by Jenna Lee,