Akram Mohammadi Amini, the first Iranian woman billiards player to win an international medal, was banned from competing in sports, and from attending sporting events, for two years. The Khommeiniist Regime’s Bowling and Cue Sports Federation made this decision after citing vague charges of violating Islamic law. In an interview, 26-year-old Amini contends that she was not given a fair disciplinary hearing, as neither her lawyer was prohibited from attending, nor was any evidence offered in order to back up the charges leveled against her.
“When they did not allow my attorney to attend the hearings, I protested, insisting the proceedings have no legal basis if I’m not allowed a lawyer. They told me I can leave if I don’t recognize the legality of the hearings. I asked for the evidence of my wrongdoing; they just said there was a report of misconduct and I am duty bound to respond to the charges.” Amini, 26, continued: “I thought there would be a session where I could confirm or deny the charges, but to my surprise, the verdict was issued within few hours…..I have written several letters to the Ministry of Sports, but have not received a response.”
Unconfirmed reports alleged that the ban was due to Amini’s not wearing the hejab, a rule imposed upon all Iranian women when they appear in public. She describes the allegation as “an attack on my dignity…a ridiculous charge. All the players wear the same uniform-type outfit during the billiard games.”
Amini believes that her being banned was a response to her selling tables at her billiard club in order raise the funds for her entry into the 2017 tournament in the UAE. A nine-time domestic gold medalist, Amini is also a swimmer, scuba diver, lifeguard and basketball player.
The regime has frequently treated female athletes harshly. In March, 2017, five female billiards players were banned from competition on unannounced charges, at the same time, a female chess player was criminally charged for not wearing hejab at a match in a foreign country. In January of that year, a female bodybuilder was arrested after posting photos of herself on social media without the hejab. Many hardline clerics are opposed to allowing women to compete in international sporting events, one grand ayatollah in 2010 called it a “disgrace” and “waging war on Islamic values.”
Iranian women are also still forbidden to attend public sports matches.