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Activist For Women's Rights In Iran Asked Not To Hold Sign At Olympics

Darya Safai holds a banner reading "Let Iranian women enter their stadiums" at the Iranian men's volleyball match against Egypt on August 13.

An activist says she will continue to bring a banner calling for gender equality in Iran to Olympic events despite being asked to abandon the sign.

Iranian-born Darya Safai was questioned by security officials when she came to an Iranian men's volleyball match at a Rio de Janeiro arena on August 13 with a sign that read "Let Iranian women enter their stadiums."

Political statements are banned at the Games by the International Olympic Committee.

Safai said she was told that "they didn't want the sign in front of the cameras" and was pressured to leave but did not do so.

She told the Associated Press that she and her friends, who also wore T-shirts with the slogan, plan to come to the Iranian team's match against Russia on August 15 and "do the same."

A longtime ban prohibiting women from attending soccer matches in Iran was extended to volleyball in 2012.

Based on reporting by AP and the BBC

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