An Iranian archer said she didn’t notice her hijab falling off her head during an awards ceremony in Tehran after video surfaced showing her dropping the headscarf in what was widely seen as a sign of support for nationwide protests .
In a video posted to Instagram, Parmida Ghasemi said she didn’t realize the hijab fell off “due to wind and a lot of stress.” “That has led to reactions that have led to some misunderstandings. My family and I have had no problem with the hijab and have never had a problem video.
Her statement sparked comments on social media that suggested she had been pressured. Human rights groups say the Iranian authorities have a track record of leaking coerced confessions. Iranian officials deny such allegations. Iran has been swept by protests since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in morality police custody nearly two months ago after being arrested for “inappropriate dress”.
Women have waved and burned headscarves – mandatory under Iran’s conservative dress code – during demonstrations that present one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. Videos posted to social media allegedly showed the Iran national basketball team refraining from singing the national anthem during a game against China in Tehran on Friday, after social media videos earlier this week showed that the national water polo team were nabbing them had also not sung at a competition in Thailand.
A cleric in the northwestern city of Urmia called for punishment of athletes who failed to sing the national anthem during prayer on Friday, according to Iranian news agencies. In video of the archery competition ceremony shared on social media this week, Ghasemi, standing among others on a podium, drops her headscarf as unseen people in the audience clapped and shouted “Bravo.” The athlete standing next to her tries to pull her scarf up, but she moves away from her head.
Last month, Iranian mountaineer Elnaz Rekabi caused controversy when she competed in an international competition without wearing a headscarf, later saying she did so unintentionally and apologizing. Iran’s Deputy Sports Minister Maryam Kazemipour said Wednesday some Iranian female athletes violated Islamic norms and then apologized for their actions.
Last week, players from the national beach soccer team refused to sing the Iranian anthem at the start of a game against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, according to a widely shared activist Twitter account known as 1500tasvir. Then, on Sunday, the players didn’t cheer or celebrate after beating Brazil to win the league, the report said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)