Arrest Warrant Makes Iranian Boxer Sadaf Khadem Cancel Return Flight
Sadaf Khadem, the first female Iranian boxer to win an international fight, now fears arrest in her country as an arrest warrant has been issued against her. Following which she has now cancelled her return home from France, her spokesperson said on Wednesday. She is currently in France for a tournament held last week. Sadaf beat the French boxer Anne Chauvin in an amateur bout on Saturday, The Guardian reported.
Khadem and her trainer, Mahyar Monshipour were expected to return to Tehran after the win over Anne Chauvin. The 24-year-old, who works as a fitness trainer in Tehran, heard a warrant had been issued for her arrest because she defied her country’s rule that female athletes should dress in line with Islamic laws. Khadem left her head bare and wore shorts for the bout in Royan. According to Iranian laws that constitutes punishable offence since the country requires its female athletes to cover their hair arms, legs and neck during a competition.
“I was fighting in a legally approved match in France,” Khadem told L’Equipe, “but as I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, which is completely normal in the eyes of the entire world, I confounded the rules of my country. I wasn’t wearing a hijab, I was coached by a man – some people take a dim view of this.”
Hossein Soori, the head of Iran’s boxing federation, said Khadem was not a registered boxer in Iran and “in the view of the federation all of her activities are a private act”.
“Ms Khadem is not a member of [Iran’s] organised athletes for boxing, and from the boxing federation’s perspective all her activities are personal,” Hossein was quoted as saying by an Iranian news agency, BBC reported.
Sadaf Khadem, the first female Iranian boxer to win an international fight, now fears arrest in her country as an arrest warrant has been issued against her.
Saturday’s bout in the western French town of Royan was fruitful for Khadem as she became the first Iranian woman to contest an official boxing bout. “I want to improve as much as possible, go as far as possible and show other Iranian women that they can taste this sport,” Khadem had said ahead of the bout.
Iranian women’s participation in sporting events is strongly restricted. The 24-year-old now faces arrest threat. She knew the consequences of overruling the restrictions. Although she had the blessing of Iranian sporting authorities, but to fulfill their requirement that the bout be refereed and judged by women was simply too complicated.
A representative of Khadem told Reuters that authorities had issued arrest warrants against both her and Monshipour.
Khadem has posted a photo of her binding her hands with a cryptic message on Instagram writing, in Farsi, “I’ve learned to fight each day for a better life.”
Feature Image Credit: BBC