According to reports, the passport and mobile phone of the 33-year-old Iranian are missing and her whereabouts are unknown.
Avalanches, inclement weather, or even an unanticipated fall are the most common causes of risk for rock climbers to sustain injury or death.
Elnaz Rekabi, an Iranian climber, may now face the greatest threat from her government. (Iran’s Hijab Law)
This past weekend, Rekabi made international headlines for a small but significant decision. She wore her hair out while competing in a climbing competition in South Korea. The climber’s disappearance was reported today by the BBC’s World Service Lead Presenter for Iran, Rana Rahimpour.
The Iranian team had been staying at the Seoul Garden Hotel, Rahimpour later reported. Rahimpour claims that the night manager informed the publication that the group left the hotel “earlier today.” She claimed that Elnaz’s passport and mobile phone had been “confiscated” by another source, as reported by the BBC.
In Iran, where the traditional headscarf has been required by law since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, deciding not to wear one in public is a serious offense for women. Even women athletes competing abroad are subject to this law’s enforcement by the authoritarian government.
Rekabi is also one of the first women to break this law. Her symbolic act occurs at a time when national protests over women’s rights are growing.
Mahsa Amini, 22, died in the custody of the country’s morality police last month after she was arrested for not wearing her hijab “properly.” That set off a flurry of protests, most of which were by young Iranians, calling for a “revolution” to overthrow the theocratic regime.
As a result, activists and journalists on social media immediately praised the 33-year-old Rekabi.
Bahman Kalbasi, a BBC journalist, wrote on Twitter, “What’s ordinary for almost all countries — a female athlete in the outfit of the sport — is an incredible moment for Iranians as women have been forced to cover up for 43 years even when competing outside of Iran.”Consequently, Elnaz Rekabi bravely participated despite the Hijab going viral. MahsaAmini” Although the Western media and young Iranians may give Rekabi’s gesture a lot of support, it has little effect on her safety.
Prior to the announcement that Rekabi was missing, media contacted her for a response with no response. Activists have already used the climber as a rallying point, resulting in artistic posters featuring her.
Sadaf Khadem, an Iranian boxer, had to take off her hijab when she competed in France in 2019.Khadem had already received death threats prior to returning to Iran, forcing her to remain in France. She ended up staying there, and she only started talking about politics in the country publicly after Amini died in September.
Khadem told Arab News on Monday, “I never answered [media] questions because I would be putting my family in danger since they still live in Iran.”
Rekabi finished fourth in the Asian Climbing Competitions finals on Sunday in Seoul. She has won more than 80 medals in her career, including a bronze medal for boulder climbing at the competition the year before. (Iran’s Hijab Law)
Protests in Iran continue in the interim. According to reports, the brutal crackdowns have so far led to the arrests of 8,000 protesters and the deaths of 240 individuals, including 32 children.