Soumya Swaminathan Indian chess star player has pulled out of the Asian Nations Cup Chess Championships 2018 over hijab rule as Iran has a compulsion law of wearing a headscarf.
In Iran, it has a compulsory law that females have to wear a burka or headscaf while playing chess, the Championship will be in Iran from July 26 till August 4.
Soumya feels that the compulsion of wearing a headscaf is indirect
Woman Grandmaster and former world junior girls' champion Swaminathan feels the compulsion to follow a particular religion code is in direct violation on her basic Human Rights, therefore she has pulled out herself from the Indian women's team for the championship.
She said : "I'm very sorry to state that I have asked to be excused from the Indian Women's team for the forthcoming Asian Nations Cup (Asian Team) Chess Championship 2018, to be held in Iran from 26 July - 4 Aug 2018, as I do not wish to be forced to wear a headscraf or burkha.
"I find the Iranian law of compulsory headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic Human Rights, including my freedom of expression, and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It seems that under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is not to go to Iran," she also added that "I am very disappointed to see that player's rights and welfare are given such less importance while alotting and/or organising official championships. I understand the organisers 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."
In 2016, top shooter Heena Sidhu had also refused for the same reason in Iran in the Asian Airgun shooting Championship.