Iran executes wrestler, evoking shock and condemnation

TEHRAN: Iran mentioned it executed a wrestler Saturday for murdering a person throughout a wave of anti-government protests in 2018, drawing widespread condemnation and eliciting shock from the Worldwide Olympic Committee.
Navid Afkari, 27, was executed at a jail within the southern metropolis of Shiraz, provincial prosecutor normal Kazem Mousavi was quoted as saying on state tv’s web site.
Afkari had been discovered responsible of “voluntary murder” for stabbing to loss of life Hossein Torkman, a water division worker, on August 2, 2018, the judiciary mentioned.
Shiraz and a number of other different city centres throughout Iran had been the scene that day of anti-government protests and demonstrations over financial and social hardship.
The Worldwide Olympic Committee mentioned it was “shocked” by the execution and that it was “deeply upsetting” that pleas by athletes world wide and worldwide our bodies had did not halt it.
“Our ideas are with the household and buddies of Navid Afkari,” the IOC mentioned in an announcement.
London-based rights group Amnesty Worldwide mentioned the “secret execution” was a “horrifying travesty of justice that wants rapid worldwide motion”.
Studies printed overseas say Afkari was convicted on the idea of confessions aired on tv after being extracted beneath torture, prompting on-line campaigns for his launch.
Amnesty has repeatedly known as on Iran to cease broadcasting movies of “confessions” by suspects, saying they “violate the defendants’ rights”.
The judiciary’s Mizan On-line information company denied the accusations.
In keeping with Amnesty, Afkari’s two brothers Vahid and Habib are nonetheless in the identical jail the place he had been detained.
The loss of life sentence had been carried out at “the insistence of the sufferer’s household”, mentioned Mousavi, the prosecutor normal for Fars province.
Afkari’s lawyer, Hassan Younessi, tweeted that quite a lot of individuals in Shiraz have been to satisfy on Sunday with the slain employee’s household to ask for his or her forgiveness.
He additionally mentioned that based mostly on legal regulation in Iran “the convict has a proper to satisfy his household earlier than the execution.”
“Have been you in such a rush to hold out the sentence that you simply disadvantaged Navid of his final go to?”
US President Donald Trump had pleaded for Afkari’s life earlier this month, saying his “sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets”.
“To the leaders of Iran, I might vastly admire when you would spare this younger man’s life, and never execute him. Thanks!” he mentioned on Twitter.
Trump has maintained an aggressive method of “most stress” towards longtime US foe Iran since turning into president, enacting crippling financial sanctions after withdrawing from a landmark nuclear cope with Tehran and world powers in 2018.
A world union representing 85,000 athletes had additionally known as on Iran to spare the wrestler’s life.
In an announcement printed Tuesday on its web site, World Gamers United had known as on the Worldwide Olympic Committee to make use of its leverage to assist Afkari.
Sweden joined the condemnation.
“Appalled by studies of the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari,” its overseas minister, Ann Linde, tweeted.
A small group of flag-waving protestors stood exterior Iran’s embassy in London on Saturday to sentence the execution, bearing placards exhibiting crossed-out faces of Iran’s supreme chief and president.
Wrestling is a massively common in Iran, one of many world’s superpowers within the sport.
The Persian hashtag #Navid_Afkari was additionally being extensively used on Twitter to protest the execution.
Iranian rights activist Emaddein Baghi tweeted that Afkari’s execution was a “nice sin” because the judiciary ought to have tried to steer the murdered man’s household to forgive the wrestler.
Lawyer Babak Paknia additionally criticised the judiciary for its “haste” to hold out the sentence.
“Even when a homicide had actually ocurred, is it not the judicial system’s process to do all that’s attainable to obtain forgiveness?” he tweeted.
Paknia represents three males sentenced to loss of life over hyperlinks to related protests in November, however the trio’s execution was halted over a request to the supreme courtroom to overview the decision.
Amnesty mentioned Iran executed at the very least 251 individuals final 12 months, the world’s second highest toll after China.

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