Iran-HRM – The plight of Iranian women athletes has been highlighted by two weightlifters who fled the world sports camps, seeking asylum in other countries.
In recent days, Parisa Jahanfekrian and Yekta Jamali, two women weightlifting champions left Iran.
Parisa Jahanfekrian, 27, has recently applied for political asylum from Germany.
Parisa Jahanfekrian, who should have been the first female weightlifter from Iran to compete at the Olympic Games last year, blames the Iranian Weightlifting Federation (IRIWF) for her heartbreaking absence from Tokyo – and much more besides.
She announced the news on her Instagram account. In part, her post read, “I speak of a generation that did not believe in being forgotten. A generation that did not accept being humiliated and restricted.”
Parisa Jahanfekrian announced her decision 48 hours after Her younger team-mate, 17-year-old Yekta Jamali, defected from the Iranian national team.
In an interview, Jahanfekrian said, “I felt that this is not my place anymore. I did not even have the primary weightlifting equipment, and nobody would help me. I think they will be happy with our departure.”
Iranian regime forbade women’s weightlifting until 2018 when the aim was to qualify females for Paris 2024.
Jahanfekrian first joined the national team in 2018, moving to weightlifting from the hammer throw in track and field after being spotted by a coach.
Yekta Jamali, 17, has also headed to Germany after leaving the Iranian team during the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Junior World Championships in Greece May 10, 2022.
Jamali was Iran’s best young prospect, three times a medallist at youth and junior World Championships in the past year.
She won a silver medal in the 2022 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Junior World Championships.
Iranian women athletes face numerous challenges and roadblocks. To be present in international arenas and follow their sports passions, they must acquire permits from the corrupt mullahs’ authorities. Although Iranian women athletes are winning more medals these days, they face added restrictions imposed by new legislation.
More Iranian women and men athletes have defected from Iran’s national team camps to seek refuge in other countries in recent years.
Two other Olympians who fled Iran now live in Germany and both competed for the International Olympic Committee’s Refugee Olympic Team in Tokyo last year.
They are the taekwondo player Kimia Alizadeh, who became the first female in any sport to win an Olympic medal for Iran in Rio 2016, and the canoeist Saeid Fazloula.
About 30 Iranian athletes in recent years have defected from Iranian national teams and sought asylum in other countries, including Judo champion Saeid Mollaei, Greco-Roman national team wrestler Ali Arsalan, and many others, due to alleged threats and corruption in sports federations.