Elnaz Rekabi: The house of the Iranian athlete’s family was demolished by the authorities

Elnaz Rekabi: The house of the Iranian athlete's family was demolished by the authorities
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Family home of Iranian rock climbers Elnaz Rekabi According to the pro-reform IranWire news agency, he was ousted this fall after gaining international notoriety for competing bareheaded.

Rekabi competed without a headscarf in South Korea in October, just as anti-regime protests erupted in Iran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Ami, who was detained by the morality police for allegedly wearing her headscarf improperly.

Some Iranian demonstrators saw Rekabi as a symbol of a national uprising demanding more freedom for women. But human rights groups said they feared for his safety when he returned to Tehran.

At the international competition in Seoul in October, Rekabi competed without the mandatory headscarf as anti-regime protests calling for more rights for women rocked Iran.

Images obtained by CNN from IranWire show the destroyed building and medals on the ground. The man who made the video describes what happened in the house. In the video clip, Rekabi’s brother Davud is also seen crying. Davud Rekabi is a sports climber with ten gold medals to his name, according to IranWire.

The person who filmed the footage – whose identity is unknown – said off camera, β€œThis is the result of living in this country. National champion who won medals for this country. He worked hard to make this country proud. They sprayed him with pepper spray and demolished the 39-square-meter house. What can I say?”

It is unclear when the demolition took place.

CNN could not independently confirm whether Rekabi’s family’s home was destroyed at the behest of the government. Neither the authorities nor the state media have publicly commented on the situation.

When Rekabi returned to Tehran in October, he won the support of public representatives.

Footage of Rekabi wearing a headband in a ponytail while competing in Seoul went viral on social media and made international headlines. When he returned to Iran, videos circulated on social networks showed him being greeted by the crowd at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport with slogans of “Hero Elnaz”.

The mountaineer wrote on his Instagram account that week: β€œI am eternally grateful to you, all the people of Iran, the most worthy people on the planet, for your support and all your support for athletes and athletes. [the] international community.”

Both on her Instagram account and in interviews with state media IRNA, Rekabi suggested that she only “coincidentally” went to the competition without the hijab, which is required by Iranian mandate to be worn by women representing the country abroad.

However, it is not clear whether Recabi’s comments were under duress.

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