Kimia Alizadeh has been credited by many Western media outlets as being an inspiration to Iranian girls and women who seek personal freedom.
By World Israel News Staff
The first and only Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal announced on Saturday that she has defected from her country.
“Let me start with a greeting, a farewell or condolences,” Kimia Alizadeh wrote on an Instagram, according to a CNN translation. “I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran who they have been playing with for years.”
“They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said. Every sentence they ordered me to say, I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me,” the 21-year-old wrote.
Alizadeh, who won the bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, was credited at the time by many Western media outlets as being an inspiration to Iranian girls and women who seek personal freedom. In October, the BBC listed her among 2019’s most “inspiring and influential women from around world.”
“I wasn’t important to them. None of us mattered to them, we were tools,” Alizadeh said, explaining that to the regime, “the virtue of a woman is not to stretch her legs!”
Alizadeh continued her scathing attack on the Iranian regime by saying she “didn’t want to sit at the table of hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery” and that she did not want to be complicit with the “corruption and lies.”
“My troubled spirit does not fit with your dirty economic ties and tight political lobbies,” she wrote.
Despite her decision to defect, Alizadeh said that she will always consider herself to be a “daughter of Iran.”
The Olympic medalist did not say where she was writing from, but according to Iran’s ISNA news agency, she is believed to be in The Netherlands.
Alizadeh isn’t the only international competitor to flee Iran’s repressive grip. In November, Germany granted asylum to Iranian judo star Saeid Mollaei, who revealed that he was forced by the Iranian government to throw his match in the semi-final of last year’s Tokyo World Judo Championships match in order to avoid potentially facing Israeli judoka Sagi Muki.