PARIS, France – An Iranian chess player has taken part in an international tournament without a hijab, according to media reports, the latest several Iranian sportswomen to appear at competitions without one since anti-government protests began.
Iran has been swept by demonstrations against the country’s clerical leadership since mid-September when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Masha Amini died in the custody of morality police who detained her for ”inappropriate attire”.
Iranian news outlets Khabarvarzeshi and Etemad, in reports on Monday, said Sara Khadem had competed at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, without the hijab – a headscarf mandatory under Iran’s strict dress codes.
Photos posted by both outlets appeared to show her with no headscarf during the tournament. Khabarvarzeshi also posted a photo of her wearing a headscarf but without saying if it was taken at the same event.
Khadem, born in 1997 and also known as Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, is ranked 804 in the world, according to the International Chess Federation website. The website for the Dec. 25-30 event listed her as a participant in both the Rapid and Blitz competitions.