Since Sunday, news reports about the Iranian professional climber Elnaz Rekabi have been pouring in. Now she is speaking out publicly.
On Sunday, the Iranian kicked Elnaz Rekabi without a headscarf in the final of the Asian Championships - and caused a sensation. The action was interpreted as a declaration of solidarity and occupied numerous international media and led to an official statement on the part of the International Climbing Federation IFSC.
A few hours ago, reports followed that Elnaz Rekabi's mobile phone and passport had been confiscated. This morning we published an article summarizing the events.
A few minutes after the publication of our article, Rekabi spoke up publicly. In her Instagram story she addressed her Iranian compatriots and published the following statement.
In her message she writes: «Greetings to all my dear and loyal Iranian compatriots. I, Elnaz Rekabi, a member of the national sport climbing team for 20 years, have to say the following due to the concerns after my final appearance at the Asian Championships in South Korea: Due to an error in the competition schedule and the unexpected call [to climb, ed. Editor], I had an unintentional problem with my headscarf. Now, as planned, I'm on my way back to Iran with my team." Your Instagram story was kindly provided to us by Hossein Yazdan Doust, Iranian climber and sports scientist, translated into English.
Scaremongering by western media or a statement about Iranian repression?
With her statement, Elnaz Rekabi presents the situation completely differently than the media reports of the past few hours. Either it is a hasty judgment of numerous people and the media, or Elnaz Rekabi was pressured by the Iranian authorities and forced to make the statement.
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Credits: Cover picture Elnaz Rekabi