Climber Elnaz Rekabi was greeted by dozens of people at Tehran airport with shouts of “champion”

Iranian mountaineer Elnaz Rekabi was greeted with shouts of “champion” by dozens of people waiting for him at Tehran airport on Wednesday after skipping the race in South Korea, as is required by law in Iran, in apparent support of protests in the Persian nation. .

“Elnaz, champion,” dozens of people cheered as the 33-year-old climber left Imam Khomeini International Airport at dawn, according to videos shared by activists on social media.

The athlete was also welcomed by his family, who gave him a long hug after expressing fears for his safety after competing at the Asian Climbing Championships in South Korea at the weekend.

Veiled and covered in a black hat, the climber claimed she felt “stressed” and “tense” on her return to the country and repeated the apology she offered in a quirky Instagram post for not wearing a hijab. “I was busy putting on my shoes and equipment and I forgot to wear a headscarf,” she told state-run IRNA at the airport.

Women’s protest in Iran

The mountaineer’s gesture is seen as a brave show of support for women in her country who have been protesting against mandatory veiling for weeks following the death of young Mahsa Amin in September, who was arrested for wearing the veil incorrectly.

Prior to his arrival in Iran, the Iranian embassy denied “all false stories and misinformation” about the athlete, who had his passport and phone confiscated, according to media outlets such as the BBC.

The protests sparked by Amin’s death on September 16 are mainly led by young men and women who shout “woman, life, freedom”, chant slogans against the government and burn one of the symbols of the Islamic Republic, the veil. long time ago.

Protests developed as the authorities reacted: they started moderate mobilizations in dozens of cities to go to universities and a small concentration of them, sporadically and scattered on the streets, to return to the faculties.

The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights Organization recorded 108 deaths, including 23 minors between the ages of 11 and 17. In addition, there are thousands of detainees, including former footballers, activists, lawyers and singers, some of whom have been released on bail.

Source: El Diario

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