Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi's family home 'demolished by authorities'

Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi's family home 'demolished by authorities'
Critics of the Iranian government say the house was demolished in an act of revenge after Rekabi competed in an international climbing competition without a headscarf.
2 min read
04 December, 2022
Rekabi competed at an international tournament in Seoul without a hijab [AFP via Getty]

The family home of Elnaz Rekabi - an Iranian climber who competed in an international competition without the mandatory headscarf - has reportedly been demolished by Iranian authorities.

Video circulating on social media shows the aftermath of the alleged demolition, with Iranian sports medals visible among the debris and a man, identified in reports as Rekabi’s brother Davood, seen and heard crying.

Critics of the Iranian government have said the demolition was an act of revenge.

The semi-official Tasnim News Agency, which confirmed the house had been demolished, claimed the house was taken down because the family did not have a valid permit for its construction.

Tasnim said the demolition had taken place before Rekabi competed without wearing the headscarf.

The New Arab could not independently verify when the video was taken.

Rekabi broke Iran's compulsory dress code requirements when she competed without the hijab during a competition in South Korea in October. 

She was subsequently hailed as a hero by Iranian protesters demonstrating against the headscarf law and the Iranian government’s repression, which has morphed into one of the biggest challenges to Iran's clerical rule established in 1979.

Rekabi received a huge welcome on her return to Iran, but was reportedly apprehended by the authorities. She later said she had not worn the hijab during the competition 'by accident'. 

Iran has been engulfed in a massive wave of protests since September, when Kurdish-Iranian woman Mahsa Amini was allegedly killed by the country’s infamous 'morality police'. 

The Iranian government reportedly abolished the morality police on Sunday in a huge victory for the protests. It is also considering changes to the mandatory headscarf law.

The Iranian government has a history of clamping down on athletes speaking out against the regime. Iranian football legend Ali Daei, who called for the "unconditional release" of prisoners arrested in the crackdown on the protests in Iran, reportedly had his passport confiscated by the authorities in the early stages of the protests.