Iran has destroyed a villa belonging to a family member of the Iranian climber who competed in a competition abroad without her headscarf, video appears to show.
In the undated video, the brother of Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi, who is also an athlete, is seen crying next to the ruins of a house, with sports medals on the ground.
Elnaz Rekabi and his brother Davoud were reportedly arrested following Ms. Rekabi’s return to Iran after the tournament in South Korea in October in which she competed without a headscarf.
Many took the athlete’s move as a sign of solidarity with the nationwide protests in her homeland sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.
Davoud Rekabi is seen sobbing on video as he surveys the rubble of his bulldozed home in undated video.
A stranger recording the video picks up a bundle of medals left behind in the ruins of the villa.
Davoud Rekabi looks visibly upset after watching his house being razed to the rubble in the undated video.
The ruins of Davoud Rekabi’s home are seen in the undated video, following the demolition of his home allegedly for permit violations.
Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi competes during the IFSC Asian Championships women’s bouldering final in Seoul, South Korea on October 16, 2022.
Davoud Rekabi, the brother of Elnaz Rekabi, poses in an undated photo. He was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on Monday, October 17, 2022.
According to local media, the villa was not demolished as an act of retaliation against Ms. Rekabi’s appearance in South Korea.
The Tasnim news agency said authorities demolished the house before Ms Rekabi entered the South Korean competition, adding that Mr Rekabi did not have the correct permit for its construction.
Ms. Rekabi posted a suspicious apology video on her Instagram Stories saying the hijab fell off by mistake and she was returning home, and that the athlete and her brother were allegedly detained soon after.
After arriving at Imam Khomeini International Airport on the outskirts of Tehran, she repeated the explanation previously posted on Instagram that described her not wearing a hijab as “involuntary”.
The Iranian government routinely puts pressure on activists at home and abroad, often broadcasting what human rights groups describe as coerced confessions on state television, the same cameras he turned to when he arrived in Iran. House.
Video shared online showed large crowds gathering to greet her at the airport, with fans cheering.
He entered one of the airport terminals, filmed by state media and wearing a black baseball cap and black hoodie covering his hair.
Iranian competitive climber Elnaz Rekabi speaks to journalists upon her arrival at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, Iran, on October 19, 2022.
Ms. Rekabi gives an interview upon arrival at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on October 19, 2022.
Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi, wearing a headscarf, competes during the women’s bouldering final at the IFSC Asian Championships in Seoul, South Korea on October 16, 2022.
She received flowers from a bystander and then repeated what had been posted on Instagram that not wearing the hijab was ‘involuntary’ and that her trip had gone as previously planned.
“Because I was busy putting on my shoes and equipment, I forgot to put on my hijab and then went to compete,” she told state media reporters.
She added: ‘I returned to Iran calmly, although I had a lot of tension and stress. But so far, thank God, nothing has happened.
She continued: ‘I returned to Iran in peace, in perfect health and according to the predetermined plan. I apologize to the people of Iran for the tensions created,” she said, adding that she had “no plans to say goodbye to the national team.”
Outside, she appeared to get into a van and was ushered through the assembled crowd, who cheered. It was not clear where she went after that.
The BBC’s Persian service, which has extensive contacts inside Iran despite being banned from operating there, quoted an unnamed “informed source” as describing Iranian officials confiscating Rekabi’s mobile phone and passport upon arrival.
Following his alleged disappearance and arrest upon his return from Seoul, a source said IranWire: ‘Elnaz made the decision to appear hijab-free about a month ago and knew she was going to compete without the mandatory hijab
“She also did not apply for asylum because her husband is in Iran and she wanted to return after the competition. She always makes such bold decisions.
Reza Zarei, the head of the Iran Climbing Federation, allegedly tricked her into entering the Iranian embassy in Seoul after receiving orders from Mohammad Khosravivafa, the president of the Iranian Olympic Committee.
Khosravivafa, in turn, had received orders from the Revolutionary Guards Corps and promised her a safe return to Iran in order to lure her to the embassy building.
A photo provided by the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) shows Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi, wearing a headscarf, competing during the IFSC Asian Championships women’s boulder finals in Seoul, South Korea, on October 16, 2022.
Elnaz Rekabi, 33, an Iranian climber, competes in public without wearing a hijab during the final of the International Federation of Sport Climbing Federation Asian Championships in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, on Oct. 16, 2022.
Elnaz Rekabi, 33, an Iranian rock climber, poses in an undated photo. Rekabi competed in public without wearing a hijab during the final of the International Federation of Sport Climbing Federation Asian Championships in the South Korean capital Seoul on Sunday, October 16, 2022.
Zarei, a former member of the Information Ministry, said Elnaz could withdraw from public attention if he handed over his passport and phone.
But his secret trip means that no supporters gathered at the airport to protest his arrest.
Fans became suspicious after the athlete’s family and friends were unable to contact her the day after the competition.
The embassy said in a statement that he had already left South Korea and dismissed concerns for his well-being.