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Elnaz Rekabi Missing: Iranian Athlete Elnaz Rekabi Missing After Competing in Seoul Without Hijab

Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi has been reported missing after she violated the struct Islamic republic’s rules while she performed hijabless in the Asian climbing championships finals held in South Korea.

Elnaz Rekabi Missing After Competing in Seoul Without Hijab

Apparently, Iranian athlete Elnaz Rekabi is the second female athlete to shun the mandatory hijab rules of the country. It was compulsory for female Iranian athletes to wear hijabs when they compete overseas. But Rekaby’s declining to don the scarf was widely projected as a historic show of solidarity.

Elnaz Rekabi Missing

A close source revealed to BBC that they failed to contact Rakabi, 33, since Monday night, right after she chose to oppose the religious restrictions during the game. BBC Persia also announced that an anonymous source told Elnaz Rekabi’s mobile phone and passport were confiscated. However, BBC Presenter Rana Rahimpur later stated in a tweet that the concerns about Elnaz Rekabi’s safety were on rising as she was taken on a flight to Iran two days earlier than the disclosed date.

Although Elnaz Rekabi finished fourth in the competition, headlines began to circulate regarding her statement about choosing not to wear a headscarf.

Meanwhile, Elnaz Rekabi is the foremost Iranian woman to take home a medal at IFSC World Championships. Seemingly, along with other Iranian athletes, Elnaz Rekabi left the Garden Seoul Hotel on Monday morning. The whole team was due to return to their country by Wednesday. On Oct.18, local media in Iran reported that Elnaz Rekabi would be improved for disobeying the country’s rules upon reaching the Tehran airport. Sources claim that she has been taken to the Iranian Embassy in Seoul so that she could be flown home with minimal scrutiny. However, Tehran has not commented by far.

Elnaz Rekabi Missing

“Elnaz Rekabi previously made the decision to complete without a hijab and was aware that she was going to appear without the obligatory hijab,” the source added, “She did not want to go to asylum either because her husband is in Iran and she wanted to return to him. She always makes such bold decisions.”

Moreover, the topic has forged Iranians to react for their women’s safety as it is particularly relevant on the heels of the recent tension in Iran in the wake of Mahsa Amani’s tragic death in moral police custody. Following the death of the 22-year-old, President Raisi’s investigation on the moral police finally reached the unsurprising verdict of “not guilty.”

Back then, the protests not only took place in over 80 cities across the country, but also across the world. People from London, Syria, Canada, Chile, and Iraq joined the demonstration. Above all, Elon Musk took his Starlink satellite to provide internet access to the Iranian people who were facing the longest internet shutdown in the country. Videos swept across social media with eyewitnesses claiming authorities have been using tear gas and have cracked down hard on protestors.

Iranian British journalist, Rana Rahimpur tweeted back on Sept. 21, 2022- “Women in Iran’s northern city of Sari are burning their headscarves and dancing…from north to south and east to west, anti-regime protests have now escalated…all ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iranian Morality policy. “

Elnaz Rekabi Missing

Since Iran has witnessed two similar cases now, the former demonstrations have turned into a major anti-government movement. Ostensibly, Iranians are living on cliffhangers, losing lives to matters that seem illogical to the outer world.

At least 122 were killed in the state’s response to Amini’s demise, according to Iran Human Rights, plus, women on the streets were marching, removing their hijab, and cutting their hair short. It was the biggest challenge the regime had seen in years.

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On Monday night, Iran’s Human Right Organization tweeted, “BRAVE: Elnaz Rekabi has become the second Iranian athlete to defy the government in the country’s forced hijab rule,” they continued, “Yesterday, she scaled a big wall with her hair in a ponytail during the International Federation of Sport Climbing Asian Championships final.”

Back in 2016, Elnaz Rekabi was interviewed by Euronews, a France-based European media outlet, who asked her about her take on wearing a hijab during competitions.

“In the beginning, it was bizarre for other competitors, who were inquisitive about a girl wearing a headscarf and covering her arms and legs whilst competing in the scorching heat,” she said, “

“For sure, the hijab becomes a problem when it’s hot.”

She continued, “During competitions, your body needs to expel the heat. But we have attempted to create outfits that respect the hijab as well as are compatible with practicing the sport of climbing.”

She also revealed that she herself sponsored her career while facing and overcoming gender discrimination at each level.

“My friends often encourage me to continue but it’s a matter of fact that whenever someone asks me about what I do, they get stunned. A female climber?” she said, but “on a positive note, it does support and encourage other girls like me to come out and practice this sport. I am better than other female climbers, yet I am not supposed to train with men.”

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