Iran regime hangs Navid Afkari despite pleas by his mother, worldwide outcries
The Iranian mullah regime hanged this morning, Saturday, September 12, 2020, the Iranian wrestling champion Navid Afkari. The hasty execution was carried out despite his own pleas of innocence, earnest appeals by his mother and family, as well as a global campaign to stop his execution.
Navid Afkari, 27, was arrested on September 17, 2018 and accused of killing a Bassij agent, Hassan Turkman, during the August 2018 protests in Shiraz.
Navid Afkari maintained that he had been forced under torture to make false confessions.
Navid filed a complaint with the judiciary on September 13, 2019, detailing how he was forced to give false confessions while being subjected to “the most severe physical and psychological torture” during nearly 50 days in police detention.
“They put a plastic bag over my head and almost suffocated me. Using batons and other hard objects, they beat hard on my hands, abdomen, and legs. They used foul language and insulted me frequently. They tied me tight and poured alcohol down my nostrils,” wrote Navid Afkari in an open letter from detention.
In an audio file shared on August 30, 2020, Navid was heard saying that the Coroner’s Office in Shiraz had verified that his injuries had been caused by torture.
“The evidence is there if the court wants to investigate [the acts of torture] … There is not one shred of evidence in this damned case that shows I am guilty. But they did not want to hear our voice,” Navid said, adding, “They are just looking for another neck to tighten their noose around.”
Pleas by mother of Navid Afkari
The parents of Navid Afkari had pleaded with the Judiciary to revise his death sentence and allow their sons to be examined by the Coroner’s Office. In their letter to the mullahs’ Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, Hossein Afkari and Bahieh Namjou, the parents of the Afkari brothers, noted that their sons had been brutalized in solitary confinement.
Mrs. Bahieh Namjou, Navid’s mother, had appealed to the world in a video recording posted on the internet on August 30. She said: “In an unfair and mock trial, where my sons could not defend themselves, they were charged without any evidence, without having committed any crime. There were no documents against them. The court convened for only one session and issued its verdict. Now, their sentences have come.”
The residents of Kazerun and Shiraz, both in Fars Province in southern Iran, rose up in April, May and August 2018 and in November 2019, shaking the regime to its core.
In her message on the execution of Navid Afkari, the NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi said, “By spilling the blood of young people like Navid Afkari, the mullahs are seeking to maintain their hold on power in the face of Iran protests. The execution of Navid Afkari, however, will only add fuel to the flames of the Iranian people’s uprising… Our people will never forgive or forget this crime. Khamenei and his regime will not be able to evade the consequences of this cowardly murder.”
The NCRI Women’s Committee strongly condemns the execution of Iran protester Navid Afkari and calls on international human rights organizations to take urgent action to stop the killing of young Iranians for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Impunity at the global level has allowed Iran’s regime to continue its brutal crimes against the Iranian people. The international community must hold the mullahs to account for their crimes.