According to an Instagram post, a female Iranian climber who competed with her hair exposed did so because her headscarf “inadvertently” slipped off.

Those criticising Iran’s clothing code hailed Elnaz Rekabi, 33, after footage showed her breaking it during the Asian Championships in South Korea.

Friends had been unable to contact her, according to BBC Persian on Monday.

She arrived in Tehran before daybreak on Wednesday, when massive crowds had gathered to meet her.

As she came, several of them clapped and screamed “Elnaz is a heroine,” according to videos posted on social media. The athlete’s current whereabouts is unknown.

The message on Instagram on Tuesday apologised for “causing everyone concern.”

“My head covering accidently fell off due to improper timing and an unexpected demand for me to ascend the wall,” it stated.

According to the article, she was on her way back to Iran “with the team according to the pre-arranged timetable.”

According to BBC Persian’s Rana Rahimpour, the language employed in this article appears to have been written under duress to many individuals.

She adds that other Iranian women who have competed overseas without a headscarf in the past have reported they were pressured by Iranian officials to submit similar apologies. Some of them chose not to return to Iran.

Women are obliged to cover their hair with a headscarf and their arms and legs with loose garments throughout the country. Female athletes must likewise follow the dress code when representing Iran in international tournaments.

Ms Rekabi had departed Seoul for Iran on Tuesday morning, according to the Iranian embassy in South Korea. It also categorically disputed “any bogus news, falsehoods, and incorrect facts” concerning her.

The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) stated that it had spoken with Ms Rekabi and the Iranian Climbing Federation and was “working to ascertain the facts.”

“It is critical to emphasise that the safety of our athletes is of the utmost importance to us, and we support all attempts to keep a valued member of our community safe in this scenario,” it continued. “The IFSC firmly supports athletes’ rights, choices, and expression of free speech.”

Two years ago, an Iranian international chess judge reported she got death threats after a photo of her without a headscarf at the Women’s World Chess Championship in Shanghai surfaced.

Shohreh Bayat stated she was wearing a headscarf loosely over her hair at the time, but she later stopped covering her hair and sought refuge in the UK after being advised that she may face arrest in Iran.

“I had to pick a side because I was requested to post an apology on Instagram and apologise publicly,” Ms Bayat said on Tuesday to BBC World News.

“I was given a list of tasks to complete. I knew that if I just did the things that I didn’t believe in,

When asked what she thought of Elnaz Rekabi’s Instagram post, she responded: “I believe that deeds speak louder than words. And by not wearing a headscarf, she made a tremendous message.”

Ms Bayat has called on the international community to intervene in reaction to the Iranian authorities’ harsh crackdown on widespread rallies against obligatory hijab legislation and the clerical establishment.

The demonstrations were started by the death in detention of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman seized on September 13 by morality police in Tehran for reportedly wearing her headscarf too loosely.

The police refuted claims that she was hit with a baton and said she had a heart attack.

The UN Human Rights Office expressed grave concern on Tuesday over the “unabated harsh response by security forces against protestors, as well as allegations of arbitrary arrests and the killing and incarceration of minors.”

“According to some accounts, up to 23 children have been murdered and many more have been injured in at least seven provinces by live bullets, metal pellets fired at close range, and deadly beatings,” added spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani.

She went on to say that security agents had stormed a number of schools and arrested youngsters, while other principals had been arrested for refusing to cooperate.

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