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Iranian chess player who removed hijab gets Spanish citizenship



Chess - FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships - Rapid Women - Almaty, Kazakhstan - December 28, 2022. Sara Khadem of Iran plays against Olga Girya of Russia. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev/File Photo

An Iranian chess player who came to Spain in January after competing without a headscarf and receiving an arrest notice in her own country has been given Spanish citizenship, Spain said on Wednesday.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, better known as Sara Khadem, competed in the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Kazakhstan in late December without wearing the headscarf required by Iran’s stringent Islamic dress standards.

When a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, died in the custody of the morality police in mid-September, laws requiring mandatory hijab wear became a flashpoint during the upheaval that rocked Iran.

According to newsmen, the 26-year-old had no regrets about her act in favour of the protest movement against her country’s ecclesiastical leadership.

The cabinet authorized awarding Khadem citizenship on Tuesday, according to Spain’s official gazette, “taking into account the special circumstances” of her situation.

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