Afkari was arrested in September 2018, along with his brothers Vahid and Habib, charged with the murder of a security officer during a demonstration
Navid Afkari has been executed in the Adel Abad prison in Shiraz, Iran, where he has been imprisoned since he was arrested in 2018 for actively protesting against the government in the country. Afkari was arrested in September 2018, along with his brothers Vahid and Habib, accused of the murder of a security officer during a demonstration.
International pressure from various human rights groups did not serve to avoid punishment. The IAO, FIFA and Human Rights Watch pleaded with the highest Iranian authorities not to execute the athlete. But finally, the Supreme Court of Fars Province has confirmed compliance with one of the two death sentences that weighed on this Iranian sportsman, who was one of the great figures of wrestling. The decision has provoked various protests and demonstrations mainly in Berlin.
Navid’s two brothers, who did not obtain a death sentence, noted at the time, as indicated by Iranian media, that everything they confessed was a lie but were forced to confess it for having been tortured. Both they and Navid were additionally sentenced to 74 lashes. Many international agencies have also pointed out that the accusation occurred unlawfully and Afkari’s confession was under pressure and after several months of torture. The wrestler’s own mother and siblings asked for mercy and pointed out the injustice that her children have not had “the opportunity to defend themselves.”
Hearing that Iran is looking to execute a great and popular wrestling star, 27-year-old Navid Afkarai, whose sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets. They were protesting the “country’s worsening economic situation and inflation”…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020
Even Donald Trump himself called for Navid’s release. He asked Iran’s leaders to reconsider their decision as his only act was “an anti-government demonstration on the streets” and he was protesting against “the worsening economic situation and inflation.”