Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari faces the death penalty for taking part in an anti-government protest in August 2018 in Shiraz.
He was sentenced in relation to the murder of Iranian government’s water and sewage department’s security agent, Hasan Turkman, during the protest, according to Iran’s state media Mizan.
The World Players Association (WPA), the leading voice of organised players in the governance of world sport, has released a statement on the matter.
“Navid was one of thousands of Iranian citizens who took part in spontaneous demonstrations that year against economic hardship and political repression in Iran.
“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,” WPA said.
According to CNN, the IOC said it has been in “constant contact” with the National Olympic Committee of Iran and the Iranian Wrestling Federation, both of which are “doing their utmost to facilitate a solution.”
US President Donald Trump has also spoken in support of Afkari. “Hearing that Iran is looking to execute a great and popular wrestling star, 27-year-old Navid Afkari, whose sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets.
They were protesting the ‘country’s worsening economic situation and inflation.
“To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you would spare this young man’s life, and not
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