Last week we ran a story about Iranian wrestler, Navid Afkari, who was sentenced to death by the Iranian government for protesting. We are sad to report that Navid Afkari was executed by the Iranian government for the alleged “death of an Iranian official.”
The IRNA news agency announced Afkari’s execution this morning. The IOC released a statement on Afkari’s execution today. “In letters, Thomas Bach, the IOC President, 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.” The statement continues, “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.”
The international effort to save Afkari’s life reached around the globe. In addition to the IOC and other organizations above, the UFC president, Dana White, and the president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump, pleaded with the Iranian government for mercy, to which Afkari did not recieve.
Afkari was offered to pay a restitution to the family of the family of Hassan Turkman, who is the person Afkari was being sentence to death for. If he could pay, he would be spared. Despite philanthropists going to Shiraz, where Navid Afkari was being held, the group failed and Afkari was executed. Afkari was executed without his family’s knowledge and did not get to say goodbye.
The World Players Association on Navid Afkari
The World Players Association threatened to expel Iran from international competition if the execution was carried out, including the Olympic Games.
“Navid was one of thousands of Iranian citizens who took part in spontaneous demonstrations that year against economic hardship and political repression in Iran,” the WPA said in a press release. “However, he has been unjustly targeted by the Iranian authorities who want to make an example out of a popular, high-profile athlete and intimidate others who might dare exercise their human right to participate in peaceful protest.”
The My MMA News sends it’s thoughts and prayers to Navid Afkari’s family. May he rest in peace.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.