Iran rock climber Elnaz Rekabi competes without hijab

Fears are growing for a female Iranian athlete who competed without a hijab at a climbing competition in South Korea in defiance of Iran’s strict rules.

Elnaz Rekabi was hailed by Iranians protesting against the dress code after she climbed with her hair uncovered at the IFSC Asian Championships in Seoul.

Ms Rekabi’s family and friends lost contact with her on Monday, after she said she was with an Iranian official.

On Tuesday, the Iranian embassy said she had flown back to Tehran.

Iranian law states that women must wear a hijab when taking part in sporting events.

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