Iranian-American Jewish federations condemn murder of wrestler

'Applaud sanctions targeted at the Islamic Republic officials responsible for Afkari’s sham trial and murder.'

Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler Navid Afkari. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler Navid Afkari.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Iranian-American Jewish federations of California and New York on Sunday condemned the Islamic Republic of Iran’s execution of 27-year-old Greco-Roman wrestling champion Navid Afkari, and welcomed US sanctions targeting the regime for the hanging of the athlete.
The organizations wrote that the execution was based on “bogus charges,” and said it was “inhumane.”
Iran executed Afkari on September 12 for his participation in a 2018 demonstration against regime corruption, and for the alleged killing of a security guard who was present to identify protesters.
Human rights organizations, including sports advocacy groups, as well as Western governments, have asserted Afkari was framed and brutally tortured to confess to a crime he did not commit.
The Iranian-American Jewish federations wrote that “Afkari’s confession lacked any evidence and was solely based on a forced confession, reportedly obtained under torture and recanted later. The court’s decision appears to have been an attempt by the Islamic Republic authorities to instill fear into a citizenry that dares to express its dismay at conditions it is forced to live under.”
The federations posted their statement on their Twitter accounts on Wednesday. In response to the federations’ tweet, Rob Koehler, director-general of Global Athlete, wrote “Olympics need to act.” He added the Hashtag #Justice4Navid.
The International Olympic Committee has chosen not to sanction Iran’s regime for Afkari’s execution and it continues to face criticism for its alleged apathy in protecting athletes.
The statement from the federations also said that Afkari’s execution “can be classified as nothing other than a travesty of justice.” It added: “We applaud the US government for its stance on the side of the people of Iran and its decision to impose sanctions targeted at the Islamic Republic officials responsible for Afkari’s sham trial and murder.”