Courts in Shiraz, an Iranian city, slapped a double execution on champion wrestler Navid Afkari. Apart from the shocking double death sentence, there are also whipping orders against the 27-year old wrestler. He was accused of protesting against the faulty economic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2018.
The double execution on wrestler Navid Afkari has garnered attention and outrage from all across the world. Moreover, several other wrestlers, human rights activists, and Iranian Americans protest against Tehran’s clerical rulers to stop the trend of execution. According to records, Navid Afkari participated in a mass protest that hit the streets in August 2018.
Events leading to a double execution on champion wrestler Navid Afkari
The mass protest against government demonstrations was held in several cities. Every person who was part of the event was protesting against Iran’s inflation and deteriorating economic situation. A couple of days back, the Iran International news website was the first to reveal double execution on wrestler Navid Afkari. Before the execution, he will have to serve six and a half months in prison. Besides, he is to bear 74 lashes as a part of the punishment too. One of the sentences was issued by the revolutionary court and the other by the criminal court.
🇮🇷 The Islamic Republic of Iran just confirmed the death sentence of wrestling champion Navid Afkari for participating in 2018 protests against the regime.
🇮🇷 The Islamic Republic of Iran is an elected member of the U.N. Commission on Criminal Justice.
— UN Watch (@UNWatch) August 29, 2020
Following the sentencing, a famous Iranian journalist and dissident Masih Alinejad took her Twitter account to rebuke the punishment. She posted two pictures of Afkari’s mother showing how she has turned into a sad woman after the sentencing. The wrestler’s brothers Vahid and Habib, are also facing similar charges. While Vahid will have to serve a 54 years prison term, it will be 27 years for Habib. Like their brother, Vahid and Habib will have to bear 74 lashes each as a part of the punishment.
This is what the Islamic Republic of Iran does to a mother.
Her name is Behieh Namjou. The regime has sentenced her son #NavidAfkari to death for a simply protesting. Her other sons are unjustly imprisoned
She’s gone from a cheerful and happy mother into a sad and gloomy mother pic.twitter.com/6bqjIqQCw2
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 31, 2020
Questions raised on the cruelty Iranian authorities
Following the double execution on wrestler Navid Afkari, his mother shamess the system’s brutality. Moreover, she is begging for justice against the death sentence of her son. Later, the HRANA (Human Rights Activists News Agency) published a photograph of Navid’s letter. In it, he has mentioned several details about how the Iranian authorities tortured him. He says that they forced him to confess to the crime that they booked him for.
As a part of the torture, they covered Navid’s face with a plastic bag and poured alcohol through his nostrils. The 27-year old wrestler also works as a plasterer and has won several medals for his country. Iranians love wrestling, and the government has set high standards in several international tournaments. The wrestlers have made Iran proud in quite a few Greco-Roman and freestyle competitions.
Fellow wrestlers coming out in support of Navid Afkari
Amongst the vast number of people who are protesting against the baseless sentencing is a former Olympic wrestler. Ben Askren posted a powerful picture on his Twitter handle stating how the real authoritarian regime looks like. He also mentioned how sources close to Navid had revealed the violent nature of the Iranian authorities.
This is what a real authoritarian regime look like. https://t.co/HRgh1SsBUq
— Bionic Ben (@Benaskren) August 30, 2020
On the other hand, Matthew Karnitschnig, the head European correspondent of Politico, sarcastically questioned the requirement of double punishment. He asked whether the authorities are doubtful that the first attempt may go wrong.