Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi, who represented her country at an international event in South Korea without wearing a hijab headed home on Tuesday amidst fear of getting prosecuted on her arrival in Tehran.
Rekabi, 33, in open defiance against the Iranian regime, took part in the Asian Sport Climbing Championships in Seoul on Sunday without a headscarf and was soon reported to be missing.
According to the Telegraph (UK), Rekabi's friends were unable to contact her since Sunday. The BBC claimed that her passport and mobile phone were confiscated.
Rekabi finished fourth in the climbing championships but her decision to not wear a hijab, seen as a sign of protest against the Iranian regime, was broadcast across the world.
The Iranian embassy in South Korea condemned the "misinformation" surrounding Rekabi. "Elnaz Rekabi, departed from Seoul to Iran, early morning of October 18, 2022, along with the other members of the Team. The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in South Korea strongly denies all the fake, false news and disinformation regarding Ms. Elnaz Rekabi," tweeted the Iranian embassy in Seoul.
Rekabi took to social media today to write that the "problem" with her hijab in the championship happened "unintentionally". The athlete also "apologised to the people of Iran" for the incident.