Iran executes wrestling champion despite international pressure

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Iran’s judicial authorities have reported this Saturday that Navid Afkari, a wrestling champion who had been sentenced to death for murder, has been executed in the province of Fars.

The Chief Justice of Fars has informed the state television channel IRIB that Afkari was executed this morning in the Shiraz prison where he was held.

Human rights organizations had already warned on Friday that Afkari’s execution seemed imminent. According to Amnesty International, the convict made a brief phone call to his family on 6 September and was able to say that he was being held in a wing of Adelabad Prison in the city of Shiraz, which has high security and harsh conditions, before the call will be cut.

Afkari was arrested on September 17, 2018 and sentenced to two death sentences for two offenses in connection with the murder of an intelligence agent that took place on August 2 of that same year in Shiraz. His brothers Vahid and Habib have also been sentenced to prison terms in connection with this murder.

Judicial review

In recent weeks, the wrestling champion’s request for a judicial review of his death sentence was summarily rejected by the Supreme Court.

On September 3, Afkari was transferred from the general ward by prison authorities to an undisclosed location after a voice recording of the detainee asking for help from the international community was broadcast on social media, sparking a global outcry, Amnesty recalled. .

Among those who have spoken out on the case is US President Donald Trump, who last week posted a message on Twitter addressed “to the leaders of Iran” to whom he said that he would “greatly appreciate it if they saved the life of this young man and did not they will execute ».

Two days later, on September 5, Navid Afkari’s forced “confession” was broadcast on state television “in a propaganda video that tried to justify his death sentence and divert attention from his serious allegations of torture and other wrongdoing. deals ».

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