Iran’s execution of wrestler sparks protest in DC urging end of regime

”Right now – protesting Khamenei’s murderous regime at Interests Section in Washington, DC.”

Attendees wave flags as Iranian Americans from across California converge in Los Angeles to participate in the California Convention for a Free Iran and to express support for nationwide protests in Iran from Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 11, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/ PATRICK T. FALLON)
Attendees wave flags as Iranian Americans from across California converge in Los Angeles to participate in the California Convention for a Free Iran and to express support for nationwide protests in Iran from Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 11, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ PATRICK T. FALLON)
Scores of Iranian-Americans took to the street in Washington on Monday to demonstrate against the Iranian regime’s execution of a champion Greco-Roman wrestler, who is widely believed to have been framed for a murder he did not commit.
“We are in front of the interest section of the occupying Islamic regime in Iran to make sure Navid Afkari isn’t forgotten. Down with the Islamic Republic,” tweeted the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI), a nonpartisan organization raising awareness about the freedom movement in Iran.
NUFDI embedded a video of the protest in its micro-blog message, where protesters could be heard chanting, “the mullah’s regime must go.
The demonstrators assembled in front of Pakistan’s embassy, which represents the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the US.  Washington and Iran’s regime do not maintain diplomatic relations.
Public intellectual Mariam Memarsadeghi tweeted from the protest: “Right now – protesting Khamenei’s murderous regime at Interests Section in Washington, DC.” Ali Khamenei is the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Memarsadeghi’s tweet showed a picture of a demonstrator holding a handmade sign stating that “80 million Iranians are taken hostage by their government.”
The demonstration was blanketed with the Lion and Sun flag that was Iran’s national flag prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

IRANIAN AUTHORITIES executed Afkari on Saturday. The 27-year-old wrestler allegedly killed a security guard for a water company during anti-regime protests in 2018.
But Afkari said in an audio that was smuggled out of prison that he was tortured to confess the crime. Human rights organizations maintain that he was brutally beaten to force him to make a false confession. The execution of Afkari has sparked international outrage over the clerical regime’s crackdown on dissent.
The Jerusalem Post asked the International Olympic Committee if the organization plans to ban Iran’s regime from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
An IOC spokesman told the Post on Monday that “The IOC as a civil, nongovernmental organization, and has neither the remit nor the ability to change the laws or political system of a sovereign country. This is the legitimate role of governments and the respective intergovernmental organizations. Exclusion of an NOC [National Olympic Committee] from the Olympic Games would punish the athletes of this country just because they live under a particular political or judicial system. This is even more true given that the NOC of Iran facilitated the IOC’s efforts in this case.”
Iran is an NOC country. In January, its regime assured the IOC president Thomas Bach that it would not violate the Olympic Charter and discriminate against Israeli athletes by boycotting them. Critics view Iran’s execution of a decorated wrestler as a violation of the human rights provisions of the charter.
The IOC spokesman said that “the execution of wrestler Navid Afkari in Iran was very sad news. The IOC is still shocked by this announcement. The IOC and United World Wrestling (UWW) took action as soon as we learned about the case. We were in contact with nongovernmental organizations and human rights organizations from the very beginning. We also took part in conversations, which included representatives from various governments, human rights organizations and the United Nations.
“The IOC and UWW also followed up with the Iranian NOC and the Iranian Wrestling Federation, respectively, which were doing their utmost to facilitate a solution. Thomas Bach, the IOC president, wrote personal letters to the Supreme Leader and to the president of Iran appealing for mercy for Navid Afkari, while respecting the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Mary Harvey, CEO of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, told Sky Sports News on Monday that “they just killed a kid and it’s inflammatory, it’s egregious. It is important that we remember Navid’s life by recommitting ourselves to why this work is so important. So I think it’s a rallying cry for all of us to say ‘Enough, you can’t target people.’”
“We can’t save the world, but we can look at sport and sport’s role, and there’s no free lunch,” she said. “If you want to host a mega-sporting event and bring the world into your country, then you have to be willing to deal with scrutiny on who you are.”