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2 Defections in 1 Week
By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 16, 2020

I've Been Thinking:

Another defection from Iran. That makes it number two just this week. Both are women.

Shohreh Bayat, 32 years old, is a chess hero famous all around the world - and especially in Iran. This week she was the referee of the Women's World Chess Championship.

During one of the matches there was a picture of Bayat refereeing and it appeared that she was not wearing her head scarf, her Hijab.

Iranian media picked up the picture and it went viral.

In response, Bayat said that she was in fact wearing her Hijab, but that it was not visible from that particular camera angle. None-the-less, she received death threats.

It is against the law in Iran not to wear the Hijab and all female competitors, even in active sports, are required to wear a Hijab.

Bayat is afraid. At best, she fears that she will be arrested if she returns to Iran. At worst, she fears for her life. There are many Iranian women in prison for violating the Hijab law.

No word yet on where Shohreh Bayat will go.

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19 January 2020 12:33 PM in Thoughts

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