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December 28, 2022 9:41 am
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Iranian Chess Player Appears at Kazakhstan Tournament Without Hijab for Second Day – Reuters Witness

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avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships – Rapid Women – Almaty, Kazakhstan – December 28, 2022. Sara Khadem of Iran sits in front of a chess board. Photo: REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev/File Photo

An Iranian chess player on Wednesday took part in an international tournament in Kazakhstan without a hijab for the second day running, according to a Reuters journalist present.

A Reuters witness at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, saw Sara Khadem competing without a headscarf, a violation of Iran’s laws governing female dress code.

Iran has been swept by demonstrations against the country’s clerical leadership since mid-September, when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died in the custody of morality police who detained her for “inappropriate attire.”

Laws enforcing mandatory hijab-wearing have become a flashpoint during the protests, with a string of sportswomen competing overseas appearing without their headscarves in public.

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Khadem, born in 1997 and also known as Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, is ranked 804 in the world, according to the International Chess Federation website. The website for the Dec. 25-30 event listed her as a participant in both the Rapid and Blitz competitions.

Iranian news outlets Khabarvarzeshi and Etemad in reports on Monday said that Khadem had competed at the championship in Almaty without a hijab.

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