Iranian officials wrestler executed Navid Afkari Saturday for his alleged involvement with a murder of a security agent during August 2018 against Iran’s Shiite theocracy.
The execution followed after Iran televised Afkari’s confession last week. International human rights advocates suspect that the confession was coerced because the confession resembled those found in a report by Justice for Iran and the International Federation for Human Rights that found that Iranian TV had aired more than 350 coerced confessions in the last decade.
Iran carried out the execution despite outcry from leaders in the international community. US President Donald Trump had pleaded with Iran via twitter against Afkari’s execution:
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. They were protesting the “country’s worsening economic situation and inflation[.]” … To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you would spare this young man’s life, and not execute him. Thank you!
The EU condemned the execution on Monday stating, “The European Union is opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances and cases with no exception. It is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.”
Iranian courts sentenced Afkari’s two brothers for their involvement in the protests to jail sentences of 54 and 27 years.