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Cheering crowds at Tehran’s airport welcomed Iranian sport climber Ernaz Rekhabi back home after competing in South Korea without wearing a hijab, Islamic Republic media reported.

Rekhabi wore nothing but a headband at the Asian Championships in Seoul on Sunday. It’s a gesture of solidarity with months of protests.

The move violated the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code of mandatory headscarves for women, which also applies to all female athletes when competing abroad.

A 33-year-old man was seen arriving at Imam Khomeini International Airport early this morning in a video broadcast by state news agency IRNA.

As she stepped outside, dozens of people welcomed her, loudly cheering and clapping, according to a video posted online by the reformed Shaag newspaper.

They surrounded a white van and car that she and other members of her team appeared to be in.

Wearing a black hoodie and baseball cap, Rekabi addressed state media with a mask on his face after being greeted by his family.

“The atmosphere of the finals of the competition and the unexpected call to start running got me tangled up in my technical equipment…which should have been observed I didn’t notice the hijab,” she said.

“I returned to Iran peacefully and in perfect health according to a pre-arranged plan. I apologize to the Iranian people for the tension that has arisen,” she said, adding, “Farewell to the national team.” I had no plans to tell you,” he added.

Elnaz Rekabi competing in Paris in 2016

Her comments were similar to statements she made on Instagram yesterday, in which she apologized for causing “concerns” and claimed her naked appearance was “unintentional.”

Rights groups outside Iran have expressed concern about her situation after reports that her friends were unable to contact her.

However, the Iranian embassy in Seoul issued a statement to AFP denying “all fakes, false news and disinformation” regarding Rekhabi’s situation, citing that Rekhabi left South Korea with his teammates yesterday. added.

Read more: Iran protests ‘beginning of revolution’

According to a stream posted by the International Sport Climbing Federation, her head was covered with a bandana during the first bouldering discipline, but on subsequent lead climbs she scaled a high wall with a rope and wore only a headband. rice field.

Protests over the death of 22-year-old Masa Amini have erupted in Iran, with many women taking off their head coverings in demonstrations in streets, universities and schools.

Street violence has left dozens dead, mainly among protesters but also security forces, and hundreds of demonstrators arrested.

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Homecoming of Iranian climber who competed without hijab –

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