Despite numerous and global calls to Tehran and Iran, including President Trump, for the regime to spare the 27-year-old Navid Afkari, Iran ‘s regime executed the pro-wrestling champion on Saturday.
The Incident was confirmed by the Iranian State Media IRNA as they reported on Saturday morning stating that, in Adelabad prison in Shiraz city, Navid Afkari, 27, was killed by hanging.
The pro wrestler, Afkari reportedly participated in last year in the mass protests in Iran against political repression, and its high profile in the country. It’s believed that the Iranian government wanted to set an example of claiming that foreigners do not have the right to participate in protest.
Authorities accused Afkari during the demonstrations of stamping out a water supply company in the southern town of Shiraz. Two death sentences were imposed on Afkari and six years and six months imprisonment, as were 74 lashes imposed by courts in Shiraz. A criminal court and a “revolutionary court” imposed one death sentence.
There have been appeals throughout the world by dozens of human rights organizations, including the FIFA, World Players Association. The call was joined by the President of the United States Donald Trump.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate it if you would spare this young man’s life, and not execute him.”
Last week Iran transmitted Afkari ‘s faith, resembling several coerced confessions taken from opponents of the regime in the last ten years. Afkari ‘s supporters said he was tortured.
Iran had reacted with Trump’s tweet, saying that it Afkari stabbed a man in its back during the protest. The executions would only strengthen the Iranian people’s determination to overthrow the theocratic rule, Iranian opposition groups said.
“The people of Iran, especially the courageous youth, will not remain silent vis-à-vis the savage execution of this brave son of Shiraz and will rise up in solidarity with the heroic people of Fars Province over his unjust execution,” Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said in a statement, adding that the execution “will only add fuel to the flames of the Iranian people’s uprising and will strengthen their determination to overthrow the clerical regime and to establish freedom and democracy.”
Rajavi also called on the United Nations, the European Union, and other international organizations to take action against Iran in response to the killing.
“Silence and inaction are tantamount to a green light to, and complicity with, the regime to continue its atrocities,” she said.