Elnaz Rekabi: Iranian Athlete's Home Demolished After Competing in International Tournament Without Hijab

The family home of Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi has reportedly been demolished, according to the local news outlet IranWire.

In October, Rekabi competed without her headscarf in South Korea, following the death of Mahsa Amini amid anti-regime protests throughout Iran.

Some human rights groups expressed concerns for Rekabi's safety when she returned to Tehran. Amini, 22, died after being taken into the custody of the morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly.

Video Footage Shows Rekabi's Medals on the Ground

Elnaz Rekabi
Elnaz Rekabi (left) and images of her alleged home being demolished circulating on social media. Twitter

According to media reports, police destroyed the family villa in the north-western Iranian province of Zanjan. Video footage circulating on social media appears to show the home reduced to rubble and Rekabi's medals on the ground.

The man filming the footage – whose identity is not known – says off camera, "This is the result of living in this country. 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?"

It is not clear when the demolition happened.

Rekabi Placed on House Arrest, Banned from Giving Interviews

Rekabi opted to wear a headband as she competed in Seoul, which became the subject of controversy amid protests in Iran. Videos posted to social media platforms appeared to show Rekabi returning home and being welcomed by supporters at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport.

She later posted on her Instagram account, "I am endlessly grateful for the support of you, all the people of Iran, the most decent people of the planet, athletes and non-athletes, and all your support in [the] international community."

After Rekabi returned to Tehran, she and her brother Davood appeared before state television cameras. Rekabi reiterated that she had forgotten to wear a hijab, which Iran mandates must be worn by women representing the country abroad.

Rekabi was placed under house arrest in her father's house in Zanjan. She was prohibited from interviewing with media outlets or using her cellphone, according to IranWire.

The National Olympic Committee and the minister of sports told the climber that "her family's land would be confiscated if she leaves the country, gives interviews to the media or starts sensitive activities on his social pages," IranWire reported at the time.

Join the Discussion
READ MORE