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Global Condemnation of Iran Regime for Executing Navid Afkari

The Iranian regime executed Navid Afkari, a wrestling champion arrested during major Iran protests in 2018, despite global campaigns to halt his execution. Navid’s execution has been widely condemned by politicians with different political tendencies, human rights groups, and international sport organizations. Below are some of these global reactions to Navid’s execution:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “The Iranian regime’s execution of Navid Afkari is a vicious and cruel act. We condemn it in the strongest terms. It is an outrageous assault on human dignity, even by the despicable standards of this regime. The voices of the Iranian people will not be silenced.”

U.S. Representative to the United Nations Kelly Craft also condemned Navid’s execution and tweeted: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Navid Afkari. We condemn the Iranian regime’s continued and audacious disregard for human life. The voices of the Iranian people will not be silenced.”

Joe Biden, U.S. Presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President, condemned the execution of Navid Afkari and the regime’s human rights violations. He wrote on Twitter: “Iran’s cruel execution of Navid Afkari is a travesty. No country should arrest, torture, or execute peaceful protestors or activists. Iran must free its other political prisoners, including Nasrin Sotoudeh, and release unjustly detained Americans.”

Robert A. Destro, Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of U.S. State Department also tweeted: “Saddened and outraged by reports that the Iranian regime executed Navid Afkari after subjecting him to torture and a forced televised confession. My deepest condolences to Mr. Afkari’s family. The brutality of the Iranian regime has no bounds, and they must be held accountable.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio while condemning Navid Afkari’s execution tweeted: “The execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari for simply exercising his right to freedom of expression should remind the world that the clerical regime which governs Iran is barbaric, cruel and evil.”

Alyssa Farah, White House Communications Director, wrote on her Twitter account: “The world is seeing the Iranian regime for what it truly is — cruel, barbaric, and backwards. The wonderful people of Iran deserve a better, brighter future than this. Our hearts are with the family of Navid Afkari and people of Iran.”

The European Union also strongly condemned the execution of Navid Afkari and said it opposes any execution under any circumstances.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the United Kingdom’s Human Rights Minister, tweeted: “It is tragic news and deplorable that the Iranian authorities have executed Navid Afkari. The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, as a matter of principle.”

Ann Linde, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, tweeted: “Appalled by reports of the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari. Sweden and the rest of the EU consistently underline the right to due process and oppose the application of capital punishment under all circumstances in all cases without exception.”

Charlie Wemers, Member of the European Parliament, condemned Navid’s execution. “This barbarian regime once again shows its true colors. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Navid Afkari,” he tweeted.

François Cormier-Bouligeon, Member of France’s National Assembly and president of its Sport Commission, wrote on his Twitter account: “High-level sportsman, Navid Afkari freely expressed his opinions in a country that prohibits fundamental freedoms. He was executed yesterday by the Iranian regime. As a humanist, abolitionist, I express here my strongest condemnation.”

The United World Wrestling also released a statement about Navid’s execution. “It is deeply upsetting that the pleas of athletes from around the world and all the behind the scene work of United World Wrestling and the National Iranian Wrestling Federation, the IOC together with the NOC of Iran did not achieve our goal. The news is devastating and the entire wrestling community mourns his death,” read the statement.

The International Olympic Committee in a statement while condemning Navid Afkari’s execution said that his execution has shocked this committee.

Amnesty International released a statement in this regard. “The secret execution this morning of wrestling champion Navid Afkari, without prior notice to him, his family or lawyer, after a grossly unfair trial, is a horrifying travesty of justice that needs immediate international action. Before his secret execution Navid Afkari, 27, was subjected to a shocking catalogue of human rights violations and crimes, including enforced disappearance; torture and other ill-treatment, leading to forced “confessions”; and denial of access to a lawyer and other fair trial guarantees,” read Amnesty’s statement.

“This young man desperately sought help in court to receive a fair trial and prove his innocence. Leaked voice recordings of him in court expose how his pleas for judges to investigate his torture complaints and bring another detainee who had witnessed his torture to testify were unlawfully and cruelly ignored,” said Diana Eltahawy.