It’s still amazing to me that in this age, we have to create awareness over something that should be already roundly condemned and acted upon in every measurable way.
Opinion: Iran Must Be Banned From International Sports
September 16, 2020
By Benjamin Weinthal
The Islamic Republic in Iran has executed Navid Afkari, a young wrestler with a potentially bright future ahead of him.
Navid’s execution has led to a major outcry among Iranians in Iran and among the diaspora, especially on social media.
The regime executed Navid as a message to the rest of the population- obey us at all costs or face death. But his unjust death must not go answered by the international community.
All sports associations must ban the Islamic Republic from competition in international events, especially the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United World Wrestling (UWW). Moreover, European countries that still maintain diplomatic ties to the regime must punish its behavior. Navid’s death must not be in vain.
Navid was executed for his participation in the 2018 nationwide protests against the Islamic Republic’s rule over Iran. In reaction to the people’s legitimate demands, the regime unleashed violence against the protestors, killing, injuring, arresting, and torturing thousands of Iranians.
Hoping to make an example of them to prevent future unrest, the authorities accused Navid and his two brothers of participating in protests in Shiraz, one of the largest cities in Iran and a center of the uprising. Tehran has also accused Navid of killing a security guard during the protests.
However, the regime did not provide any proof of its charges, and according to the Voice of America, the brothers’ convictions were based on confessions extracted under torture.
In a recording from his incarceration, Navid stated that he was brutally tortured into confessing to a crime he did not commit.