Iranian regime demolishes family home of climber Elnaz Rekabi after she competed without a hijab
The 33-year-old athlete competed without wearing headgear, which is compulsory in Iran, and was interpreted as support for the anti-government protests.
The family home of Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi, in the northwest of Zanjan, has been reportedly demolished by the Iranian police, according to independent outlet Iran Wire.
Elnaz’s brother, Davood, also an elite athlete, posted a photo on social media showing the destroyed garden and asked: “Where are you, justice?” “What [life] gives us, we accept it, be it pain, happiness, bitterness or poison,” he added. A video, confirmed as being authentic by the BBC and CNN shows the rubble of the house that belonged to the Rekabis, along with a collection of medals. Davood also appears crying.
Elnaz made headlines in October after appearing in an international competition in South Korea without wearing the hijab, a move seen by many as a gesture of support for the protests by anti-government groups that have been taking place in Iran for weeks, after the death of a 22-year-old woman in the custody of the morality police, which provoked a bloody crackdown by the security forces.
After climbing without her hijab, Rekabi, 33, was detained under house arrest and later apologized for violating Iran’s mandatory dress code, saying her hijab fell off “unintentionally”. It was not clear whether her comments were made under duress.
Her brother Davood, who has won more than 10 medals in both national and international climbing competitions, was also arrested and has been sentenced to pay the equivalent of $5,000 for what the authorities claim was an undisclosed “rape”.
Climber Elnaz Rekabi threatened
Iran’s National Olympic Committee and the sports minister have threatened Elnaz. “She was told that her family’s land will be confiscated if she leaves the country, gives interviews to the media or starts sensitive activities on her social pages,”, a source told Iran Wire, adding that the property of the family was worth $300,000. Before heading to Seoul, Rekabi was to deliver a check for $35,000 and give full power of attorney to Iran’s climbing federation to sell her family’s property as a guarantee that she would return.