Radiofarda – The European Union has joined the chorus of condemnation against Iran’s execution of a champion wrestler convicted of murder.
Iranian authorities say Navid Afkari, 27, was executed on September 12 following a trial that was condemned by human rights groups as fraudulent.
Afkari was convicted of killing a security guard with the government’s water and sewage department in the southern city of Shiraz during mass anti-government protests in 2018.
The EU “condemns this execution in the strongest terms,” EU Foreign Affairs spokesperson Peter Stano said in a statement on September 14.SEE ALSO:Iranian Champion Wrestler Navid Afkari Executed, Despite Outcry
The bloc is opposed to the death penalty “under all circumstances and cases with no exception. It is a cruel and inhumane punishment,” he added.
A German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman also condemned the execution, citing “considerable doubts about the rule of law in the proceedings” and allegations that Afkari “confessed only under torture.”
Iran’s judiciary has denied the torture claims made by Afkari’s family and activists.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called the execution of Afkari “a vicious and cruel act.”
The International Olympic Committee said it was “deeply upsetting” that pleas by athletes from around the world and international bodies had failed to halt the execution.
Afkari was a national champion in wrestling, which is a widely popular sport with a long and deep history in Iran and often referred to as the country’s “first sport.”
His two brothers were sentenced to 54 and 27 years in prison in the same case, rights activists have said.
With reporting by AFP