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A video interview with an Iranian climber who competed in Korea without her hijab is believed to be one of the Islamic Republic’s notorious forced confessions. Forced confessions are a tactic the Iranian government uses against journalists, activists, and others who deviate from Iran’s strict religious laws.  In the interview with 33 year old Elnaz Rekabi on the state media channel IRNA, Rekabi said she was called unexpectedly and was busy putting on her shoes and gear, and forgot to put on her hijab. She said this as a cheering crowd gathered to welcome her at Imam Khomeini international airport […]

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Being in the spotlight, a provided excuse ("forgetfulness due to to inappropriate timing and being called unexpectedly") seems to be a way out that causes least damages to both parties (she/her family vs. the state), i.e. from both perspectives: no-one wants an already made statement - intentionally or not - to escalate into martyrdom.

But she's been competing internationally (and getting some decent results) since 2013, which makes it likely she's gained some sponsors and has a personal trainer. They're not in the spotlight, so will there be "changes" in that area? She's getting close to the age of retirement in the competitive climbing scene, but if there's a next participation in an international competition, will the family be under watch?

Horrible stuff to ponder about.


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