Navid Afkari was an Iranian wrestler. He gained international attention after he was sentenced to death by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was sentenced to death for the alleged murder of a secret security agent, Hasan Torkman that occurred during the 2018 Iranian protests. Afkari was sentenced to death without proper evidence of his involvement in the murder. Despite the global outcry to overturn Afkari’s execution, he was executed on 12 September 2020 at the age of 27. For the same case, his brothers, Vahid was sentenced to 54 years in prison, and Habib was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Officials stated that Afkari was executed by hanging but many claimed that Afkari was tortured to death. Afkari was a national champion in wrestling.
What is Navid Afkari Famous For?
- Iranian wrestler sentenced to death and executed by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 12 September 2020.
Source: Bahieh Namjoo
Where was Navid Afkari Born?
Navid Afkari was born in 1993. His birth place is in Shiraz in Iran. He held Iranian nationality. He was born to a father, Hossein Afkari, and a mother, Bahieh Namjoo. He had two brothers, Vahid, and Habib.
Afkari 2018 Protests, Hasan Torkman’s Murder, Charges, Arrest
- Afkari was among the people who took the streets during the 2018 protests in Iran that opposed the totalitarian dictatorship of Khamaenei and the ever-worsening living conditions nation-wide.
- He was soon arrested after the protest and was charged with multiple offenses.
- He was charged with “insulting the supreme leader”, “waging war against God”, and the alleged case of Hasan Torkman’s murder.
- Torkman was a secret security agent of IRGC, assigned with silencing the protests task. Torkman was murdered and Afkari was linked with his murder. Afkari had no link in Torkman’s murder.
- According to the CCTV footage, Afkari was seen walking on the sidewalk while talking on the phone with someone, two hours prior to Torkman’s death.
- Despite the proper evidence, Afkari was charged with murder.
- Afkari confessed to the murder charge but later stated that he was tortured into making a false confession.
Navid Afkari Sentence, Execution
- For his involvement in the protests and the alleged murder case, Afkari was sentenced with two capital punishments, two death sentences.
- His brothers Vahid and Habib were sentenced to 54 and 27 years in prison respectively for the same case.
- Afkari’s death sentence sparked global outrage and the calls to overturn Afkari’s execution was raised internationally. US President Donald Trump, IOC President, Thomas Bach, UFC President Dana White had called to overturn Afkari’s execution.
- Afkari was eventually executed on Saturday morning on 12 September 2020 in Adel-Abad prison, Shiraz. The details of Afkari’s execution has not been released. Officials stated that he was hanged. However, the witnesses claimed that Navid was tortured to death. There were clear signs of blunt trauma on Navid’s body, the face was deformed, the nose was broken and his clothes were stained with blood. Navid was denied the right to seen his parents or family one or two days before the execution.
- Afkari was buried at night-time with high-security presence and only immediate family members in Sangar, Sepidan.
- International Olympic Committee issued a statement following the execution of Navid Afkari. It wrote, “The execution of wrestler Navid Afkari in Iran is very sad news. The IOC is shocked by this announcement today. In letters, Thomas Bach, the IOC President, had made direct personal appeals to the Supreme Leader and to the President of Iran this week and asked for mercy for Navid Afkari, while respecting the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is deeply upsetting that the pleas of athletes from around the world and all the behind-the-scenes work of the IOC, together with the NOC of Iran, United World Wrestling and the National Iranian Wrestling Federation, did not achieve our goal. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Navid Afkari.”