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Iranian Chess player competes at tournament without hijab

Iranian Chess player Sara Khadem, also known as Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, recently took part in a tournament without wearing a hijab, CNN reported on Wednesday citing Iranian news agency Jamaran. 

Since the start of anti-government protests in September, Khadem is the most recent athlete to compete without a hijab. The protests in Iran were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the police force. 

According to reports in the local media, Khadem was photographed competing in the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, without wearing the headscarf, which is required by Iranian law. 

According to the International Chess Federation, the chess player was born in 1997 and is currently ranked number 10 in Iran among active players worldwide (804th overall), as per CNN. 

Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi competed in South Korea earlier in October without wearing the required hijab, later explaining that it had fallen off inadvertently. It’s not clear, though, whether Rekabi was coerced into saying what she did. 

According to CNN, Iran’s deputy sports minister Maryam Kazemipour, in a statement said earlier that athletes who violated Islamic principles afterwards “regretted” their behaviour and “are searching for a chance to make up for their error.” 

According to Amnesty International, as of November, Iranian authorities are seeking the death penalty for at least 21 people in connection with the protests. 

Last year, in Iran, at least 333 people were executed, according to the Iran Human Rights. The report further revealed that 55 executions, which contribute 16.5 per cent, were announced by official sources.

As many as 83.5 per cent of all executions included in the 2021 report (278 executions in total) were not announced by the authorities. At least 183 executions (55 per cent of all executions) were for murder charges, according to the report. 

Iran has suspended its so-called morality police, which penalised women for not adhering to a stringent dress code, the Iranian prosecutor general said after the anti-hijab protest continued into the third month, triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the police force. 

Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Javad Montazeri said the morality police “was abolished by the same authorities who installed it”, The New York Times reported. 

Notably, Amini was arrested in Tehran on September 13 for dressing “inappropriately.” Three days later, she died while in custody. It sparked demonstrations and clashes with security forces where many people lost their lives.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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