12-year-old athlete Sara Pour-Azima was barred from participating in the World Equestrian Championships because her father legally banned her from leaving the country.
According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Pour-Azima was scheduled to leave for Russia his week with the rest of her team.
Mehrdad Mehravin, the lawyer of Sara’s mother, said the young athlete’s parents are currently embroiled in a legal battle regarding alimony, and that the father’s move to ban Sara from travel was part of an ongoing dispute with Sara’s mother. Sara reportedly found out that she had been barred from travel to the Championships upon arriving at the airport.
Given the importance of the trip in the athlete’s success and future, legal action was taken to obtain permission from the prosecutor so that Sarah could travel, but legal authorities did not ultimately issue an allowance for her to leave the country.
In Iran, before getting married, women need the legal permission of a father or paternal grandfather to leave the country, and the permission of a husband after marriage.