Indian chess player will not attend the chess tournament in Iran

Indian chess master, Soumya Swaminathan, will not go to Iran to participate in the Asian tournaments in protest to the compulsory veil.

Soumya Swaminathan, 29, woman grandmaster and member of the national team of India, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, announced on her Facebook page that she will not attend the Asian Chess Championship that is going to starts in Hamadan next month.

She said that she does not want to be forced to wear a scarf or veil. Swaminathan mentioned that the law of hijab in Iran is a direct violation of human rights, including the right of free expression, the right of free thought, and the right of free belief and religion. The Indian chess player said that she is sorry since the Indian team has to withdraw from participating.

“I am very disappointed to see that players’ rights and welfare are given such less importance while allotting and/or organizing official championships. I understand the organizers expecting us to wear our National Team Dress or Formals or Sporting attire for our games during official championships, but surely there is no place for an enforceable religious dress code in sports,” the Indian chess master said.

Swaminathan apologized for not being able to accompany the national team of India by saying, “It is a huge honor for me to represent India every time I am selected in the National Team and I deeply regret that I will be unable to participate in such an important championship. While we sportsperson 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 state-run ILNA news agency – June 13, 2018)

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