An announcement went out from the Iranian state media this past weekend that the family home of Elnaz Rekabi, a famous rock climber, had been torn down, just a few months in the wake of the successful athlete taking part in an international competition while forgoing her Hijab.
33-year-old Rekabi went on to apologize to the government for not utilizing her state-mandated religious head covering, but the act had been taken as a direct protest against the government in the wake of the 22-year-old Masha Amini, a woman who had been arrested and beaten to death by the state’s morality police while still in their custody.
Videos of the incident reportedly show an entirely demolished home with a series of medals on the ground, as reported by CNN. Davood, the brother of the athlete and a renowned champion rock climber in his own right, can be seen weeping in the video.
“This is the result of living in this country,” exclaimed a still unknown man who was taking the video of the incident. “A country’s champion with kilos of medals for this country. Worked hard to make this country proud. They pepper sprayed him and demolished a 39 sqm house and left. What can I say?”
In the wake of what many marked as open protest, Rekabi rush to social media to claim that she just forgot to put on her head covering and quickly apologized. Despite this, many anti-government groups have stated that the young woman was forced to take that stance and backtrack due to concerns for her personal safety.
“Due to inappropriate timing, and an unpredictable call for me to climb the wall, there was accidentally a problem with my head cover,” expressed Rekabi in her post.
The 33-year-old went on to state that she went back to Iran “according to the pre-arranged schedule,” speaking about concerns for her safety in the wake of the event.
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist and journalist, issued a response online, “This is an act of terror; forced confession.”
“Elnaz Rekabi refused forced hijab while competing in Seoul,” she stated via social media. “Her phone & passport was confiscated by Islamic Republic, [s]he has gone missing, Elnaz returned to Iran & announced: not wearing hijab was not intentional.”
This is an act of terror; forced confession
1) Elnaz Rekabi refused forced hijab while competing in Seoul
2) Her phone & passport was confiscated by Islamic Republic
3) She has gone missing
4) Elnaz returned to Iran & announced: not wearing hijab was not intentional #MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/V7HjzDmD52
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) October 18, 2022
Due to several months of protest, one head Iranian official reportedly declared that the state’s morality police had been officially abolished this past weekend.
Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri officially stated the decision while attending a recent religious conference when questioned about the Morality police.
“The morality police had nothing to do with the judiciary and have been shut down from where they were set up,” he stated.