Iranian Wrestler Navid Afkari has been executed by the Iranian regime. He was accused of the murder of a security guard during the 2018 anti-government protests.
There was a global outcry that saw President Donald Trump and UFC president Dana White urging the Iranian government to not execute the 27-year old wrestler.
Many believe that he was tortured into giving a confession. A union representing 85,000 athletes worldwide also called for the stay on the execution of Navid Afkari.
He was executed “this morning after legal procedures were carried out at the insistence of the parents and the family of the victim,” the media quoted the head of the justice department in the southern Fars province as saying per the NDTV.
The Washington Prep Athletics Network (WPA) has called for the boycott and expulsion of Iran from all forms of global sporting events.
“Navid was one of the thousands of Iranian citizens who took part in spontaneous demonstrations that year against economic hardship and political repression in Iran,” the WPA was quoted as saying in a CNN report. “However, he has been unjustly targeted by the Iranian authorities who want to make an example out of a popular, high-profile athlete and intimidate others who might dare exercise their human right to participate in peaceful protest.”
Donald Trump and Dana White called for the stay in the execution of Navid Afkari
US President Donald Trump weighed in on the situation last week where he took to social media and urged for the stay in the execution of Navid Afkari.
“Hearing that Iran is looking to execute a great and popular wrestling star, 27-year-old Navid Afkarai,” Trump wrote. “To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you would spare this young man’s life, and not execute him. Thank you!”
Dana White also made a video out in the support of the Wrestler.
— danawhite (@danawhite) September 4, 2020
“He’s one of us. He could be any of my fighters,” White says in the video which was posted on twitter in support of Navid Afkari.
Navid Afkari’s brothers Vahid and Habib were sentenced to 54 and 27 years in prison, whereas his lawyer Hassan Younesi stated that there was no proof of him ever killing a security guard during the protest and also stated that the video proof provided by the regime was taken an hour before the execution took place.
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