Iran executes wrestler Navid Afkari despite global outcry, disturbing video of the burial goes viral on the internet

The Human rights organization, Amnesty International, described the wrestler's execution as a "travesty of the law."

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A 27-year-old Iranian wrestler, Naveed Afkari, was executed in Iran, despite opposing international appeals for him to be spared. He was sentenced to death over killing a security guard during anti-government protests in 2018.

Afkari was buried the night he was executed with heavy security forces present. The Family of the wrestler was given no time to process his death or to prepare for a funeral.

The Human rights organization, Amnesty International, described the wrestler’s execution as a “travesty of the law.”

In a leaked recording released by the organization, Afkari stated, “I had been tortured into making a false confession. If I am killed, I want everyone to know that an innocent person, who tried and struggled with all his power to be heard, was executed.”

Afkari’s lawyer, Hassan Younesi, said his client had been restricted from seeing his family before his death, as required under the Iranian law.

Youseni tweeted, “Were you in such a hurry to carry out the verdict that you deprived Navid of the last visit?”

The lawyer added, “There was no video evidence of the security guard’s murder as claimed by the Iranian news channels. He added that footage used as evidence was taken an hour before the crime took place.”

There had been many requests to stop the execution, including from a coalition representing 85,000 athletes worldwide.

The World Players Association said he had been “wrongly targeted” for taking part in the protests.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called the wrestler’s execution “unfortunate news” and said their thoughts are with his family and friends. The committee said, “It is deeply upsetting that we did not achieve our goal despite the appeals of athletes from around the world.”

According to the Iranian human rights activists, Afkari’s brothers Habib and Vahid were also convicted to 27 and 54 years in jail in the same case.

Naveed Afkari was a national champion in wrestling. In 2018, protesters in various cities of Iran took to the roads over economic instability and political oppression.

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