Sunday , 9 May 2021

Iran’s regime threatens to execute brother of wrestler Navid Afkari

JPost – The Islamic Republic of Iran has announced that it may execute Vahid Afkari, the brother of the champion wrestler Navid Akari, who was the victim of an extrajudicial killing by Iran’s judiciary for his protest against Iranian regime corruption.The founder of the campaign United for Navid, Masih Alinejad, on Saturday tweeted:  “After executing the innocent athlete Navid Afkari for protesting, authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have now threatened to execute his jailed brother, Vahid Afkari, if he doesn’t agree to make forced confessions. His life is in danger.#United4Navid.”BREAKING NEWS:After executing the innocent athlete #NavidAfkari for protesting, authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have now threatened to execute his jailed brother, #VahidAfkari, if he doesn’t agree to make forced confessions. His life is in danger.#United4Navidpic.twitter.com/Og2K8pDUEP

— Masih Alinejad ️ (@AlinejadMasih) May 1, 2021
Alinejad is a women’s rights campaigner who has cultivated sources across Iran for her reports and journalism on human rights violations in the Islamic Republic.Voice of America, an American government news organization, wrote on its Persian-language website that Islamic Republic of Iran officials threatened Vahid with death.Navid’s brothers, Vahid and Habib, also participated in the demonstrations against the regime in 2018. For their peaceful protests, Iran’s regime sentenced Vahid to 54 years and six months imprisonment, and Habib sentenced to 27 years and three months in jail, as well as 74 lashes each. Both brothers have faced severe torture and isolation in prison.Saeed Afkari, the brother of Navid, Vahid and Habib, tweeted in Persian about his “brothers’ complaint against solitary confinement, beatings, and also the threat of murder by two high-ranking officials of the Islamic Republic.

“He continued that “After 228 days, an informal interrogation session was held only in Vahid’s presence The interrogator did not give permission to access the file, to the video of the beatings, to the medical jurisprudence report of the injuries, and the solitary confinement still continues.”Sheina Vojoudi, an Iranian dissident, provided The Jerusalem Post with the translation of Saeed Afkari’s tweet.“There is not one shred of evidence in this damned case that shows I’m guilty,” Navid Afkari, 27, said shortly before his execution in September, 2020, adding that the regime’s hanging judges “are looking for a neck for their rope.”Meanwhile, the United For Navid campaign and the sports human rights organization, Global Athlete, welcomed last week the International Judo Federation’s decision to suspend the Iran Judo Federation (IJF) for a four year period due to discrimination against Israeli athletes.The two organizations wrote in a joint statement that “This sanction is a result of Iranian Athletes being forced into a scheme to withdraw or throw matches to prevent them from competing against Israeli athletes.”Rob Koehler, the Global Athlete Director General, said “In terms of this decision, the IJF has clearly displayed their commitment to fundamental human rights and the rights of their athletes. Discrimination has no place in sport and the International Judo Federation’s actions have backed this commitment.”The statement noted that “These human rights violations are not limited to the sport of Judo. As a result, we once again call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to immediately open an investigation into other human rights violations occurring in Iranian Sport. The United for Navid Campaign has provided evidence of abuse and the IOC has yet to act.”The former head coach of Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestling team and United for Navid Campaign member, Sardar Pashaei said, “We welcome the IJF’s decision to protect Iranian athletes. We have also sent letters to the International Olympic Committee outlining numerous cases of athlete abuse by Iranian Sport officials. Months have passed yet the IOC refuses to respond.

As an Iranian Athlete, I know firsthand that there is a grave fear of retribution for those that come forward, a very real fear not just for individual safety but for the safety of their families. The IOC must act now.”Separately, Turkey is threatening to deport a prominent an Iranian-Kurdish dissident, Afshin Sohrabzadeh, to the Islamic Republic, according to media reports. Sohrabzadeh will likely be executed if Turkey deports him to Iran’s regime.The Guardian reported last month  that “Iranian dissidents in Turkey are unsure whether the country is still a refuge after what appears to be a new wave of arrests and deportation orders targeting asylum seekers from the Islamic Republic.”

The paper wrote that “Afshin Sohrabzadeh, faced torture and solitary confinement during seven years in prison in Iran before he managed to escape during a hospital visit and flee across the border to Turkey in 2016, followed by his wife.”The Turkish authorities detained Sohrabzadeh after a visit to the police station in the city of Eskişehir to secure travel papers. Turkey’s goverment charged Sohrabzadeh with being a national security threat.

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