Soumya Swaminathan Withdraws From Asian Chess Championship In Iran Over 'Burkha' Rule

| June 13 , 2018 , 13:43 IST

Indian Chess star, Grandmaster Soumya Swaminathan has withdrawn her name from the Asian Chess Championship which is to be held in Iran.

Soumya withdrew her name earlier this week because of the compulsory head-scarf rule saying that it is a violation of her personal rights.

Asian Team Chess Championship is set to be held in Iran from July 26 to August 4.

Swaminathan wrote on Facebook, “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. It seems that under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is not to go to Iran.”

It is a huge honour for me to represent India everytime 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 sportspersons 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 chess champion stated further.

According to media reports, Soumya had initially agreed to be a part of the Indian team for the championship when the host country was to be Bangladesh. “But once the new dates and new venue came up, I excused myself,” she added.