Iranian athlete Elnaz Rekabi whereabouts are unknown after competing at a rock climbing completion without a Hijab.
She has since gone missing, with some reports suggesting the Iranian government may punish her.
Rekabi went viral on social media after competing in the Asian Rock Climbing tournament in South Korea without the headscarf despite several warnings from the Islamic republic.
The decision by Rekabi, a multiple medalists in competitions, to forgo the hijab, came as protests sparked by the Sept. 16 death in custody of a 22-year-old woman have entered the fifth week. Mahsa Amini was detained by the country’s morality police over her clothing.
Since then, her whereabouts are unknown and sending fears that she might have been arrested something that the Iranian Embassy denied.
Ms. Elnaz REKABI, departed from Seoul to Iran, early morning of October 18, 2022, along with the other members of the Team.
The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in South Korea strongly denies all the fake, false news and disinformation regarding Ms. Elnaz REKABI. pic.twitter.com/053pFWs96m
— Iran embassy in Seoul (@IraninSKorea) October 18, 2022
The athlete was set to travel back home with the team on Wednesday but had to be changed after many said they’ll travel to the airport to meet following her courageous move.
Rekabi is thought to be only the second female Iranian athlete to compete abroad while not adhering to the hijab rules required by the Iranian state after boxer Sadaf Khadem competed in France without covering her hair or body in 2019.