Iranian Athlete’s Family Home Demolished by Officials

By Lauren Frances Dulatre

According to pro-reform news outlet IranWire, athlete Elnaz Rekabi’s family’s house has been destroyed.

On October 19, Elnaz Rekabi competed in Seoul, Korea to play in the IFSC Climbing Asian Championships. When competing, instead of wearing the hijab, Rekabi has decided not to, and instead wore a headband and her hair in a ponytail as a sign of protest against the Iranian government. Live footage of her competing without her hijab went viral on social media, spreading both controversy online and in Iran. 

In Iran, Islamic law states that a woman should wear hijabs at all times. If a woman shows even a strand of hair or does not wear a hijab in Iran, she can face imprisonment or death. Rekabi’s punishment was the destruction of her family home. 

In a video recorded  by IranWire, Rebaki’s family house is shown destroyed, with multiple medals on the ground. The recording showed the rubble and debris, and Rekabi’s family on the side, crying over the destruction of their house. 

Rekabi is seen as an inspirational athlete and as a symbol of the national uprising for women’s rights for women around the world. Though her actions were courageous, concerns for her rose when she had to return back to her home country.

When traveling back to Iran, a crowd formed around her in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport and began chanting “Elnaz the Hero”.

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