Iran executes Olympic champion wrestler Navid Afkari despite global outcry and pleas
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reacted after the Iranian republic on Saturday morning September 12, executed young wrestler Navid Afkari over the murder of a public sector worker, Hossein Torkman during anti-government protests in August 2018.
Afkari was executed in the morning at a prison in the southern city of Shiraz, provincial prosecutor general Kazem Mousavi was quoted as saying on Iranian state television’s website.
The 27-year-old Afkari had been found guilty of “voluntary homicide” for stabbing to death Hossein Torkman, according to the judiciary.
On the day of the ‘murder’, Shiraz and other Iranian cities had been the scene of anti-government protests and demonstrations over economic and social hardship.
Reports allege Afkari was condemned on the basis of confessions extracted under torture, and now the IOC has reacted, stating their disappointment at his execution despite their pleas.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was “shocked” by Saturday’s execution
“The IOC is shocked by this announcement today,” the statement published on Twitter reads
IOC president Thomas Bach had made direct personal appeals to the Supreme Leader and to the President of Iran this week and asked for mercy for Navid Afkari, while respecting the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“It is deeply upsetting that the pleas of athletes from around the world and all the behind-the-scenes work of the IOC, together with the NOC of Iran, United World Wrestling and the National Iranian Wrestling Federation, did not achieve our goal.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Navid Afkari,” Bach added.
US President Donald Trump had earlier this month pleaded for Afkari’s life saying that his “sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets”.
“To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you would spare this young man’s life, and not execute him. Thank you!” he wrote on Twitter.