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World Indian chess champ pulls out of a competition in Iran because of its mandatory headscarf rule

21:15  13 june  2018
21:15  13 june  2018 Source:   cnn.com

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An Indian chess champion has decided to pull out of a tournament in Iran in protest over that country's compulsory headscarf rule , saying it is a violation of her human rights. Soumya Swaminathan, 29, announced on Facebook she will not take part in the Asian Chess Championship

She is the second Indian athlete to have pulled out of a contest in Iran because of the mandatory headscarf rule . The professional shooter Heena Sidhu withdrew from the Asian Airgun Shooting Championships held in Tehran two years ago, saying the rule was discriminatory.

Indian chess player Soumya Swaminathan has pulled out of Iran tournament over a compulsory headscarf policy.: Indian chess player Soumya Swaminathan has pulled out of an Iran tournament over a compulsory headscarf policy. © Soumya Swaminathan/Facebook Indian chess player Soumya Swaminathan has pulled out of an Iran tournament over a compulsory headscarf policy.

An Indian chess champion has decided to pull out of a tournament in Iran in protest over that country's compulsory headscarf rule, saying it is a violation of her human rights.

Soumya Swaminathan, 29, announced on Facebook she will not take part in the Asian Chess Championship starting next month in Hamadan, Iran, "as I do not wish to be forced to wear a Headscarf of Burkha."

"I find the Iranian law of compulsory Headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic Human Rights including my right to freedom of expression, and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion," Swaminathan wrote in the post. "It seems that under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is not to go to Iran."

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An Indian chess champion has decided to pull out of a tournament in Iran in protest over that country's compulsory headscarf rule , saying it is a violation of her human rights. Iran 's hijab rule has already come into conflict with chess players in recent months. More: Iran just sentenced twelve

“I feel that being forced to wear a headscarf during the tournament is violation of my human rights. Hats off to Soumya Swaminathan for pulling out of this event in Iran . There should be no scope An Indian chess champ pulls out of a competition in Iran because of its mandatory headscarf rule .

The woman grandmaster and former world junior girls' champ added she was disappointed that international federations do not give enough importance to players' rights and welfare when picking venues for major championships. While organizers expect players to wear national team dresses or sporting attire for the games, "there is no place for an enforceable religious dress code in Sports," she said.

"While we sportspersons are willing to make several adjustments for the sake of our sport, always giving it top priority in our life, some things simply cannot be compromised."

The chess champ's father, Jairaman Swaminathan, told CNN, "I am very happy that she pulled out. As a father, I felt very sad because it is an important tournament. But sometimes you have to take a stand."

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Indian chess champion Soumya Swaminathan has pulled out of an Asian tournament in Iran over the country's compulsory headscarf rule . The 29-year-old Woman Grandmaster said the rule was a violation of her personal rights. "Under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my

Bharat Singh Chauhan, secretary of the All India Chess Federation, called Swaminathan's absence from the tournament "very unfortunate."

"The World Chess Federation's stand is to respect local laws, the law of the land. It'll (Swaminathan's withdrawal from the championship) hamper chances for the Indian team in the championship. Soumya Swaminathan is a strong player."

Indian chess player Soumya Swaminathan says she'll forgo the Asian Chess Championship next month. © Soumya Swaminathan/Facebook Swaminathan says she'll forgo the Asian Chess Championship next month.

It is not the first time an Indian athlete has pulled out of an Iranian competition in protest over its mandatory headscarf rule.

Shooter Heena Sidhu withdrew from the Asian Airgun Shooting Championships in 2016 in Tehran for the same reason, according to an interview she gave to India Today at the time.

The Indian who cycled to Russia to meet Messi .
The Indian who cycled to Russia to meet Messi"Of course," he replied. "I might even travel to Russia to watch the extravaganza.

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