It’s not very often that we cover sports here at Hot Air (aside from the NFL, anyway) and we almost never cover chess tournaments. And yet here we are. A nasty situation erupted at the first leg of the Women’s World Chess Championship in Shanghai this week and it didn’t even involve any of the players. One of the referees was Shohreh Bayat, an Iranian chess champion in her own right, who was there refereeing some of the matches. She wasn’t accused of any sort of rules violation, however. She was captured in several pictures not wearing a hijab.
The pictures quickly went viral, including in her home country. And given Iranian attitudes about women being seen in public without a headscarf, Bayat immediately knew she was in trouble. The threats began to rain down on her quickly and now she has decided she has to defect because she fears for her safety if she returns home. (The Sun)
Shohreh Bayat was attending the first leg of the Women’s World Chess Championship in Shanghai when she was seen without her headscarf on – which has now made her fear for her safety.
Headscarves are compulsory in Iran, with punishments including public admonishment, fines or even arrest…
She told the BBC that she doesn’t feel safe returning to her home country of Iran, despite saying she had covered her head at international tournaments, following Iranian rules.