Indian Chess Star Boycotts Championship in Iran Because She Will Be Forced to Wear a Hijab

Indian Chess Star Boycotts Championship in Iran Because She Will Be Forced to Wear a Hijab

June 14, 2018
An Indian chess star has decided to pull out of an international championship event in Iran in protest against having to wear an Islamic headscarf.
Former world junior girls champion Soumya Swaminathan condemned the dress code at the upcoming Asian Nations Chess Cup as a violation of her human rights.
The 29-year-old chess grandmaster made the announcement via a Facebook post on Saturday.
“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. “It seems that under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is not to go to Iran.”
Iran has required women to wear the Islamic headscarf in public places since the Islamic revolution of 1979. Women have since been allowed to only show their face, hands, and feet in public under Iranian law. They are also only allowed to wear “modest colors.”
Such a policy enforced through the Asian Nations Chess Cup has resulted in similar issues involving international chess players in the past.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

Back in 2016, United States chess champion Nazi Paikidze-Barnes also refused to wear the hijab, resulting in her boycotting the world championship in Tehran.
Meanwhile, Iranian chess Grandmaster Dorsa Derakhshani was banned by the Iranian Chess Federation in 2017 after attending international competitions abroad without wearing the headscarf. Derakhshani has been representing the U.S. ever since.
Swaminathan’s decision to sacrifice an important tournament has been met with universal praise online.
View post on Twitter
View post on Twitter
View post on Twitter
View post on Twitter
View post on Twitter
Featured Image via Facebook / Soumya Swaminathan
      Ryan General

      Ryan General is a Senior Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.