Iran: Chess champion leaves for Spain after threats for playing without a veil

Sara Khademalsharieh (right) at the Chess Federation in the capital Tehran, October 10, 2016. AFP - ATTA KENARE

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She will not return to her country Iran.

International chess champion Sara Khademalsharieh has arrived in Spain, days after competing without an Islamic veil in a chess competition in Kazakhstan.


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At 25, she is one of the twenty best chess players in the world.

Sara Khademalsharieh

participated in the World Rapid Games Championships in Kazakhstan at the end of December.

The young Iranian appeared there without wearing an Islamic headscarf, a compulsory outfit in Iran but also imposed on women who represent the country abroad, especially in official competitions.

Since last September and the death of the young

Mahsa Amini

, Iran has been shaken by a protest movement: Iranian women are defying the law by circulating without a headscarf in the streets of the country.

#Iran: Unveiled #Sara_Khademalsharieh

— sebastian usher (@sebusher) December 28, 2022

► To read also: 

Iran: a new campaign to monitor the wearing of the veil for women

A “personal” participation?

In this context, the Iranian Chess Federation assured last week that Sara Khademalsharieh had participated "in a personal capacity" in the World Championships and that she did not represent her country there.

In fact, Sara Khademalsharieh will no longer play chess games under the colors of Iran.

It is in Spain that she is now, because according to several sources, the Iranian champion would have received threats after her gesture of defiance.

► To listen also: 

Iran: faced with the repression of the regime, the choice of exile

In October, climber Elnaz Rekabi wore only a headband during a competitive event at the Asian Climbing Championships in Seoul.

Back in Iran, she apologized for the incident and insisted her headscarf had " 


 " slipped off.


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