Iranian woman plays chess tournament without hijab

STORY: A Reuters eyewitness at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan saw Sara Khadem competing without a headscarf, a violation of Iran's laws governing female dress code.

Iran has been swept by demonstrations against the country's clerical leadership since mid-September, when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died in the custody of morality police who detained her for "inappropriate attire".

Laws enforcing mandatory hijab have become a flashpoint during the protests, with a string of sportswomen competing overseas appearing without their headscarves in public.

Khadem, born in 1997 and also known as Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, is ranked 804 in the world, according to the International Chess Federation website. The website for the Dec. 25-30 event listed her as a participant in both the Rapid and Blitz competitions.