On September 12, the mullahs’ criminal regime hanged an Iranian wrestling champion Navid Afkari despite worldwide objections and concerns over executing this 27-year-old star. At sunset of the same day, intelligence agents compelled the Afkari family to bury their loved one under excessive security measures in his hometown Sangar village, nearly Shiraz.
Afraid of igniting public ire, the regime prohibited his family from holding a regular ceremony. Only Navid’s parents and his sister and two brothers were permitted to participate in his funeral. According to eyewitnesses, the state security forces had surrounded the region. The regime initially refused to deliver the corpse to his family. However, the Afkari’s pressures pushed authorities to hand over Navid’s body to contain more rage and condemnation.
Footage of #NavidAfkari's burial in the village of Sepidan, south-central #Iran
Authorities had dispatched dozens of security and intelligence agents to prevent gatherings and possible anti-regime protests.pic.twitter.com/HVwzu16hG9
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) September 13, 2020
On the other hand, intelligence agents had imposed enormous restrictions and conditions before delivering Navid’s corpse. For instance, they had forbidden the family from holding any mourning ceremony. They also barred his family members to have their cell phones in the funeral and provide videos and images from Navid’s last farewell.
Oppressive forces had dug and prepared the grave to prevent Navid’s relatives and friends from attending the funeral. However, his friends openly announced that they would not forgive the regime for this harrowing crime. They also declared that they would not remain silent against the regime’s oppressive measures and carry the national champion’s memory and blood on their hearts.
Following this criminal execution, many human rights organizations and activists, sports federations, Iranian and international athletes, and politicians condemned the mullahs’ cowardly action.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), was among the pioneers who severely condemned this crime and demanded the international community take practical and effective measures against the regime.
“The execution of Navid Afkari will only fuel the flames of the Iranian people’s fury and will send the mullahs’ rule to the dustbin of history. The UNSC, its member states, the UN Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for human rights, the EU, and all international human rights authorities must take practical, effective measures against the regime in Iran for the execution of Navid Afkari and 120,000 political prisoners,” Mrs. Rajavi tweeted.
The UNSC, its member states, the @UNHumanRights, the UN High Commissioner for #HumanRights, the EU &all int’l human rights authorities must take practical, effective measures against the regime in #Iran for the execution of #NavidAfkari & 120,000 political prisoners. pic.twitter.com/wCBlMOPSl9
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) September 12, 2020
Mrs. Rajavi underscored that “silence and inaction” would be construed as a “green light” by the regime and is tantamount to “complicity in these crimes.” She also sounded alarms over the other Afkari brothers and other detained protesters’ conditions and called on the international community to take urgent action to release all of them.
Once again, I call on the international community to take urgent action to release the #Afkari brothers, other detained protesters, and all political prisoners who are in danger of being executed. #NavidAfkari #Iran #StopexecutionsinIranhttps://t.co/s47i5vldFn
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) September 12, 2020
Amnesty International announced this travesty of justice deserves “immediate international action through public and private interventions.”
#Iran: We are completely shocked, saddened & horrified at the secret execution of Navid Afkari, a young man with a promising future ahead of him. This travesty of justice needs immediate int'l action through public & private interventions.https://t.co/lxAQ3sIDKG #نوید_افکاری
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) September 12, 2020
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his fury over the Iranian regime’s “vicious and cruel act.” He used a Persian-language hashtag meaning “They killed our Navid—نویدمان_را_کشتند#.” He also extended his sympathies to the family of Navid and all Iranians, emphasizing “His life, and his death, will not be forgotten.”
Today we stand with the family of Navid Afkari, and all Iranians, in mourning his death at the hands of this brutal and merciless regime. His life, and his death, will not be forgotten.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 12, 2020
“We condemn the Iranian regime’s continued and audacious disregard for human life,” tweeted U.S. Representative to the United Nations Kelly Craft. She also used نویدمان_را_کشتند# in solidarity with Navid’s family and the Iranian people.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Navid Afkari. We condemn the Iranian regime’s continued and audacious disregard for human life. The voices of the Iranian people will not be silenced. نویدمان_را_کشتند# https://t.co/PKJ6r8bCv6
— Ambassador Kelly Craft (@USAmbUN) September 12, 2020
Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod declared his government’s condemnation of the use of execution and torture. “Appalled by the execution of Navid Afkari by Iranian authorities. Denmark remains categorically opposed to use of capital punishment,” he tweeted.
Appalled by execution of #NavidAfkari by Iranian authorities.
Denmark remains categorically opposed to use of capital punishment.
Use of torture in Iranian prisons and denial of right to due process is well-documented and must be condemned.#Iran #IranProtests
— Jeppe Kofod (@JeppeKofod) September 12, 2020
Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde declared that her country and the rest of the EU have consistently been opposed to applying capital punishment under all circumstances.
Appalled by reports of the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari. Sweden and the rest of the EU consistently underline the right to due process and oppose the application of capital punishment under all circumstances in all cases without exception.
— Ann Linde (@AnnLinde) September 12, 2020
Furthermore, in an interview with the Persian-language TV Channel Iran International, Amnesty International’s Iran Researcher and human rights lawyer Raha Bahreini condemned this harrowing execution. “With the secret and previously unannounced execution of Navid Afkari, the Islamic Republic authorities once again showed the ruthless and merciless of Iran’s judiciary system at the international level,” Bahreini said.
The secret & sudden execution of #NavidAfkari showed #Iran judiciary's ruthless once again…Non-observing basic principles of a fair trial classified this execution as murder…
Not only Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi but MPs are responsible— @RahaBahreinipic.twitter.com/WGhmfzxTao
— IranNewsUpdate (@IranNewsUpdate1) September 12, 2020
“The judiciary system that denies accused people’s complaints about psychological and physical tortures. The courts are presided by judges who pay no attention to the basic principles of a fair trial. Attorneys who document enforced confessions as evidence in their arguments. In such circumstances, the judiciary has issued the cruel and inhuman punishment against Navid Afkari,” she added.
“The death penalty is a ruthless and inhuman punishment under all conditions. However, it is considered as murder or extrajudicial execution— is an international crime and traceable in the international literature— while it had been issued and performed without basic principles of a fair trial,” Bahreini emphasized.
“Not only courts, judges, attorneys, and the judiciary chief, but also members of the Majlis (Parliament) are responsible for this merciless act. Because they denied reforming faulty laws of proceeding trial and allowed that in Iran, the courts use taken confessions without the presence of lawyer as evidence,” Bahreini concluded.
Navid Afkari Isn’t a Culprit Even Under Iran’s Outdated Constitution