According to Reuters, a female chess player from Iran took part in an international competition sans a headscarf. At the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Sara Khadem, an international chess player from Iran, participated without a hijab.
The hijab is a requirement for women in Iran due to the country’s strict dress regulation. The death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was arrested for “inappropriate attire”—not properly donning her hijab—died in police custody while she was being held in jail has sparked ongoing protests in Iran.
The International Chess Federation and other participants uploaded images from the event that showed Sara Khadem competing without a hijab. With her hair hanging loosely around her shoulders, Sara Khadem could be seen gazing down at the chessboard.
Sara Khadem, also known as Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, is ranked 804 in the world by the International Chess Federation.
Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi competed in South Korea without a headscarf in October, but she later claimed that she made a mistake. The Iranian national anthem was not sung by the team during their opening game of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Iran has blamed hostile foreign powers, primarily the United States, as well as other Western countries like Britain and France and exiled opposition groups, of inciting the “riots,” but the country has undertaken a tremendous crackdown against the demonstrations that have lasted for more than 100 days. Iran murdered two protesters last month, prompting criticism and sanctions from around the world.