Iran Executes 27-Year-Old Champion Wrestler Despite Global Outcry

Categories: Iran

09/12/2020

Iran’s state TV reported on Saturday that the country’s authorities executed a wrestler for allegedly murdering a man after he purportedly confessed to the crime.

State TV quoted the chief justice of Fars province, Kazem Mousavi as saying on Saturday: “The retaliation sentence against Navid Afkari, the killer of Hassan Turkman, was carried out this morning in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.”

Afkari had been found guilty of the “voluntary homicide” of a water department worker, Hassan Turkman, in Shiraz, southern Iran, who was stabbed to death on August 2, 2018.

Shiraz and several other urban centers across Iran were the scene that day of anti-government protests and demonstrations over economic and social hardship.

In video footage aired by Iranian state TV last week, Afkari could be seen apparently confessing to the crime.

The segment resembled hundreds of other suspected coerced confessions aired over the last decade in the Islamic Republic.

In the footage, Afkari could be seen making a stabbing gesture during a police reconstruction of Turkman’s killing.

“I hit twice, once and then again,” he said, according to the Reuters news agency.

The TV station also showed what it said was a written confession by the wrestler.

However, Afkari, in a recording shared on social media, could be heard saying he was forced to sign it.

Afkari’s case had drawn the attention of a social media campaign that portrayed him and his brothers as victims targeted over participating in protests against Iran’s Shiite theocracy in 2018.

Read More: Times of Israel