US pressure on Iran over athlete who removed veil in competition

The United States criticized this Wednesday the treatment reserved by the Iranian authorities to the sportswoman Elnaz Rekabi, who participated without a veil in a climbing competition abroad.

The case takes an international turn. The United States criticized this Wednesday the treatment reserved by the Iranian authorities to the sportswoman Elnaz Rekabi, who participated without a veil in a climbing competition abroad, Washington warning of the attention which will be brought to her fate in Iran.

She offered an “apology”

“The world and the Iranian people will be watching how she is treated,” US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters, calling her visibly forced return from South Korea of “inexcusable”.

“The Iranian regime and its leaders have long abused women’s rights and violated their freedom of expression, including through the use of threats, intimidation and violence,” the spokesperson said. Elnaz Rekabi returned to Tehran on Wednesday, greeted like a hero by her supporters at the airport.

His participation in the Asian climbing championships, wearing only a bandana on his head, was interpreted as a gesture of solidarity with the demonstrations sparked on September 16 by the death of the young Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini. Twice since Tuesday, the 33-year-old sportswoman has offered an “apology” and explained that her scarf had slipped by mistake.

But human rights activists believe that these statements, in front of the press and on social networks, could have been obtained under pressure.

Leave a Comment