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Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab

An Iranian chess player who moved to Spain in January after she competed without a hijab and had an arrest warrant issued against her at home has been granted Spanish citizenship, Spain said on Wednesday.
Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, a distinguished Iranian chess player, has been granted Spanish citizenship. Khademalsharieh, also known as Sara Khadem, had relocated to Spain in January following an arrest warrant issued against her in Iran. The warrant was the result of her audacious choice to compete without a hijab in an international chess tournament, an act that violated Iran's rigid Islamic dress code.

Sara Khadem participated in the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships held in Kazakhstan in late December sans the headscarf, challenging Iran's mandated dress code for women. Her bold stance against the repressive regulations came in the wake of increasing tensions in Iran over mandatory hijab-wearing. This issue had become a heated point of contention during the widespread unrest in the country, especially after the tragic death of a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini. Amini passed away in the custody of the morality police in mid-September, further fuelling the outrage.

Speaking to Reuters, the 26-year-old Khadem expressed no remorse for her defiant act in solidarity with the protest movement against Iran's clerical leadership. Her brazen move has earned her widespread acclaim and support from those advocating for greater freedom and rights for women in Iran.

On Tuesday, Spain's official gazette declared that the cabinet had approved the granting of Spanish citizenship to Khadem, acknowledging the "special circumstances" of her case.
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