Iran executes wrestler Navid Afkari despite pleas from Trump and Dana White

Iran executes wrestler Navid Afkari despite pleas from Trump and Dana White

Iran executed a champion wrestler on Saturday for allegedly murdering a man during anti-government protests, despite worldwide pleas for clemency, state TV reported. The IOC is shocked by this announcement today.

Afkari's case had sparked an outcry from Iranians on social media and human rights groups.

"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 said September 3.

"The retaliation sentence against Navid Afkari, the killer of Hassan Turkman, was carried out this morning in Adelabad prison in Shiraz", Iranian state television quoted the chief justice of Fars province, Kazem Mousavi, as saying.

According to Amnesty, Afkari's two brothers Vahid and Habib are still in the same prison where he had been detained.

Afkari, whose case had attracted global attention and led to the likes of United States President Donald Trump pleading for clemency, had claimed he was tortured into making a false confession.

Indeed, the televised segment resembled many other suspected coerced confessions aired over the last several years in Iran, The Associated Press reports.

The judiciary's Mizan Online news agency denied the accusations.

'Bahrain sacrificed Palestinian cause at altar of American elections': Iran
The agreement also specifies that "peaceful worshippers of all faiths" will be allowed to visit mosques and holy sites in Israel. On Friday, Bahrain announced it was going to join the United Arab Emirates in mending ties with Iran's archrival, Israel.

Afkari's lawyer, Hassan Younesi told CNN that philanthropists had gone to the city of Shiraz and were trying to raise money to pay the restitution, but it was too late - the Shiraz judiciary informed Afkari's family the sentence was already carried out and they didn't get to say goodbye.

"To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you would spare this young man's life, and not execute him", Trump wrote last week. Thank you!' he tweeted, tagging a Fox News story on the wrestler and the UFC mixed martial arts organization and its president Dana White.

He also said that based on criminal law in Iran 'the convict has a right to meet his family before the execution'.

But Iran ignored all calls for mercy towards Afkari, who was said to be framed and thought to be used to make an example out of him.

The government recently suspended the death sentence of three young men for their role in the protests following a widespread social media campaign.

Last week Brendan Schwab, the executive director of the World Players Association, had insisted that, in executing Afkari, Iran would be "forfeiting its right to be a part of sport's universal community".

"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".

Related Articles