In an initiative by Iranian National Sports Champions, members of the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) of Iran 48 Iranian sports champions write to the UN Secretary-General, the International Olympic Committee President, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, President of the Human Rights Council and, demanding their urgent intervention to stop the execution of wrestling champion, Navid Afkari.
Mr. Moslem Eskandar Filabi, Iran’s national hero and winner of 17 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in national and international competitions and Chairman of the Committee on Athletics of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Dr. Mohammad Ghorbani, a Gold medal winner in World Wrestling Competition in 1971, and Messrs. Bahram Mavaddat, Asghar Adibi, Hassan Nayeb Agha, and Abbas Novin Rouzegar, members of Iran’s National Soccer Team, and NCRI members are among the signatories.
Mr. Afkari has been sentenced to double execution, 6.5 years’ imprisonment, and 74 lashes for taking part in protests in the southern city of Kazerun in the summer of 2018.
His two brothers, Vahid (35) and Habib (29) were also sentenced to 54.5 years and 27 years’ imprisonment and 74 lashes, respectively.
Among the signatories are Mr. Moslem Eskandar Filabi, the renowned Iranian national wrestling champion and winner of 17 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in national and international wrestling competitions, and the Chairman of the Committee on Athletics of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Dr. Mohammad Ghorbani, a Gold medal winner in the World Wrestling Championship in 1971, and Messrs. Bahram Mavaddat, Hassan Nayab-Agha, and Abbas Novin Rouzegar, members of Iran’s national soccer in the ‘70s, who are NCRI members.
Text of the letter follows:
To the high Steam of the Honorable:
Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee President,Nenad Lalović, President of United World Wrestling,
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the Human Rights Council,
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Call to save the Life of the Iranian Wrestling Champion Navid Afkari from Execution by the Iranian Regime
The ruling regime in Iran is about to execute the Iranian Wrestling Champion Mr. Navid Afkari only because he had participated in a nation-wide anti-regime protests that took place during the summer of 2018. He was arrested in Shiraz, south of Iran. The regime’s judiciary has sentenced him with two counts of executions, six years and six months of imprisonment and 74 lashes.
Navid (Farshid) Afkari, 27 years old, has won numerous Greco-Roman Wrestling championship. Navid brothers were also arrested, Vahid 35 years old and Habib 29 years old were sentenced to 54 years and 6 months with 74 lashes and 27 years and 3 months imprisonment and 74 lashes, respectively.
Petition by Navid Afkari asking for re-trial/re-examination of his case was rejected by the regime’s Supreme Court.
Execution of Athletes, Champions and Olympians in Iran by the ruling regime is not new. Many Athletes have been executed to date only because they had responded to the voices of their conscious and their Athletic duties when it comes to oppression of people by the regime. The regime in Iran cannot tolerate popular figures in Iran.
We, undersigned, Athletes, Olympians, and members of Iran National Teams in various athletic disciplines in the past, are calling on Mr. Thomas Bach, President of International Olympic Committee and Mr. Nenad Lalovic, of the United World Wrestling (UWW) to sincerely do whatever they could, urgently, to help save the life of the Iranian Wrestler and national champion Navid Afkari as time is running out for him.
Your action also sends a strong message to the regime in Iran that they cannot kill Iranian heroes only because they had exercised their most basic human rights and more that the world in watching.
Your high offices should also make the regime understand that should they continue with this barbaric execution; you would impose serious sanctions on them.
We, the undersigned are calling on all Athletes, Olympians worldwide to support our call and do whatever in their capacity to help save Mr. Vahid Afkari’s life. Your support will show that the people of Iran and their Athletes are not alone in seeking justice and human dignity.
- Mr. Moslem Eskandar Filabi, Winner of 17 Medals from the National and International Wrestling events
- Dr. Mohammad Ghorbani, the World Wrestling Champion, 1971
- Mr. Asghar Adibi, Iran’s Football National Champion
- Mr. Bahram Movaddat, Iran’s Football National Champion
- Mr. Hassan Nayebagha, Iran’s Football National Champion
- Mr. Abbas Novin Rouzegar, Iran’s Football National Champion
- Mr. Manouchehr Arastoupoor, Vice Champion World Canoeing, veteran
- Ms. Golpar Parvardeh, Silver Medalist European Championship
- Ms. Solmaz Abuali, US Karate Champion
- Ms. Firouzeh Ojagh, Iran Women Basketball Champion
- Ms. Neda Amani, Football Club player, Switzerland
- Ms. Mina Lajmir, Basketball
- Mr. Kazem Gholami, Iran, Asia and Teflis Cup Champion
- Mr. Iraj Adibzadeh, Sport host, reporter and analyser
- Mr. Mansour Bahrami, Iran, Asia and ATP ranking famous Tennis player
- Mr. Mahmoud Sarabi, Sport host and analyser
- Mr. Mohammad Behrouzi, Official Football Federation Referee
- Mr. Saeed Ipakchi, Iran Athletic Champion
- Mr. Akbar Parizani, Iran Fencing Champion
- Mr. Mehdi Ghazal, Iran’s Football National Champion
- Mr. Hossein Fadakar, Iran’s Football National Champion
- Mr. Yousef Mahdavi, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Ali Sajjadi, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Majid Moshtari, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Mohammad Azadan, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Jaafar Azarmgin, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Farhad Azari, Iran Football Club Champion
- Dr. Shahram Homayounfar, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Reza Azadi, Iran Football Club Champion
- Dr. Hadi Nikoonezhad, Iran Diving National Champion
- Mr. Reza Mohammadi, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Mohammad Yousefali, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Khosro Alikhani, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Khosro Parvardeh, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Jamshid Heidari, Iran Football Club Champion
- Mr. Mosayyeb Jalali, Iran Wrestling Club Champion
- Mr. Bahman Abedini, Taekwando
- Mr. Majid Rahimi, Taekwando
- Mr. Sivan Barzegar, Taekwando
- Mr. Massoud Ipakchi, Sport Expert
- Mr. Siamak Tahooni, Football Player
- Mr. Saeed Saeedpour, Football Player
- Mr. Mohammad Darafarin, Football Player
- Mr. Akbar Haghighi, Football Player
- Mr. Javid Haghighi, Football Player
- Mr. Edvin Tehrani, Weightlifting
- Mr. Esmail Mohades, Football Player
- Mr. Arash Filabi, Wrestling