The Iranian regime hastily and secretly buried the body of Navid Afkari, a wrestling champion executed on Saturday. A week earlier the mullahs destroyed a mass grave for victims of the 1988 massacre in southwest Iran. Yet, these crimes will not be covered with secrecy.
Navid Afkari Sangari was a 27-year-old wrestling champion. He was arrested during the nationwide Iran protests in 2018 in southwest Iran. After being subjected to vicious tortures, he was forced to make false confessions and accused of killing a member of the regime’s security forces. In a letter sent from prison, Navid detailed the horrific tortures he went through. “For around 50 days I had to endure the most horrendous physical and psychological tortures. They would beat me with sticks and batons, hitting my arms, legs, abdomen and back. They would place a plastic bag on my head and torture me until I suffocated to the very brink of death. They also poured alcohol into my nose,” read the letter.
Despite international outcries, the Iranian regime executed Navid. His execution was met with international condemnation. The regime executed Navid to intimidate people and a restive society that with its protests in 2018 and 2019 shook the regime’s foundations. In addition, the regime needed this execution to boost the morale of its demoralized and desperate suppressive forces.
To prevent Navid’s funeral sparking another uprising, the Iranian regime buried his body at night without allowing his family to hold a mourning ceremony for him, or his relatives and friends to attend the burial of Navid’s body.
#NavidAfkari was buried amid tight security in the southern village of Sangar in Fars Province.
The 27-yr-old wrestling champion was secretly executed yesterday in Shiraz’s Adel Abad Prison in SW #Iran. #نوید_افکاری_را_کشتند pic.twitter.com/vyIPzwtAmy
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) September 13, 2020
The failure of the world community to hold mullahs’ regime to account for their worst crime in 1988, and other atrocities, have emboldened this regime to continue human rights violations and execute Navid despite international outcries.
In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime summarily and extra-judicially executed over 30,000 political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out based on a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini. Many of the victims were members and supporters of the MEK. Khomeini issued fatwas ordering the execution of anyone who had not “repented” and who was not willing to collaborate entirely with the regime. The massacres began, and everyday hundreds of political prisoners were hanged, and their corpses were buried hurriedly in mass graves all over major cities, mainly in Tehran.
For the past 32 years since the 1988 massacre, the Iranian regime has enjoyed impunity over this massacre, due to the international community’s silence. This silence has emboldened the mullahs’ regime to continue their inhuman actions. Ebrahim Raisi, the current Judiciary Chief of Iran, was a key member of the 1988 “Death Commissions.” If he had not enjoyed impunity, he could not have ordered the execution of Navid and other political prisoners and then label the murders as acts of “decisiveness.”
Yet, the Iranian society, despite the regime’s ongoing oppression, has not chosen silence over the crimes of this regime. Therefore, the mullahs desperately try to cover up their crimes.
As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the opposition president, said: “The execution of Navid Afkari, however, will only add fuel to the flames of the Iranian people’s uprising and will send the mullahs’ regime to the dustbin of history. Our people will never forgive or forget this crime. Khamenei and his regime will not be able to evade the consequences of this cowardly murder.”
As to the international community, Mrs. Rajavi once again reiterated: “The United Nations Security Council and its member states, the UN Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union and all international human rights authorities need to take practical, effective measures against the regime in Iran for the execution of Navid Afkari and 120,000 others executed on political grounds. Silence and inaction give a green light to and are construed as complicity in these crimes.”