IRAN Has Executed A Champion Wrestler Navid Afkari
Navid Afkari, 27, who was accused of killing a state security guard during the anti-government protests in the summer of 2018, was hanged in Shiraz.
The Sun – The International Olympic Committee has described reports confirming the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari as “deeply upsetting” amid mounting calls for sporting sanctions.
The World Players Association meanwhile said he had been “unjustly targeted” for taking part in the protests, and called for Iran’s expulsion from world sport if it went ahead with the execution.
It comes as a voice recording emerged from inside prison was released, in which he said: “If I am executed, I want you to know that an innocent person, even though he tried and fought with all his strength to be heard, was executed.”
The IRGC backed Tansim News Agency in Iran quoted the Chief of Fars Province Justice Department as saying that Afkari’s death sentence was carried out “due to the insistence of the family of the victim”.
In Iranian law the family of a murder victim has the right to forgive or insist on capital punishment.
On August 29, Iranian human rights activists reported that the Supreme Court had confirmed the death sentence of Afkari.
The world class wrestler first confessed to the killing of the state security agent but later said he had made the confession under immense physical and psychological duress.
According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Navid and his brother Vahid Afkari were severely tortured to give confessions.
They had a testimony of witnesses about their beatings and torture were even referenced in the case, but the court ignored the testimonies and sentenced him to a double death sentence.
His brothers Vahid and Habib were reportedly sentenced to 54 and 27 years in prison in the same case.
If I am executed, I want you to know that an innocent person, even though he tried and fought with all his strength to be heard, was executedSecret voice recording of Navid Afkari in jail
Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “A series of judges in different courts used forced ‘confessions’ obtained under torture to convict him, and consistently failed to investigate his complaints of torture.