Iran protests: Archer joins other athletes in showing support for protests


Iranian archer Parmida Ghasemi showed her support for anti-government protests by removing her hijab during an awards ceremony in Tehran, a video shared on social media showed on Thursday.

In the video, Ghasemi drops her headscarf as she steps onto the podium along with other athletes. A girl next to him tries to put it back on, but Parmida lets it hang. People in the audience, not seen in the video, can be heard clapping and cheering the action.

Ghasemi is not the first Iranian athlete to express solidarity with the protesters.

Videos obtained by CNN show Iran’s national beach soccer team athlete Saeed Piramoon making a haircut gesture after scoring a goal against the United Arab Emirates in Dubai earlier this week, a symbol that has become popular in demonstrations.

Last month, Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi competed in South Korea without wearing the mandatory hijab, and later said she had accidentally fallen. However, it is unclear whether Rekabi’s comments were made under duress.

Iran’s Deputy Sports Minister Maryam Kazemipour said on Wednesday that athletes who acted against Islamic rules “regretted” their actions afterwards and “are looking for an opportunity to make up for their mistake”.

“These people took actions under the influence of the enemy’s propaganda…but after a short period of time, they repented and are looking for an opportunity to make up for their mistake,” Maryam Kazemipour said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

“Iranian women proved that the Islamic hijab does not create any restrictions for them,” Kazemipour added.

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