Iran arrests father and brother of executed wrestler while cleaning grave

Dissident Iranian journalist target of death threats

Executed Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
Executed Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
Iranian intelligence agents have arrested the brother and father of Navid Afkari, the champion Greco-Roman wrestler who was executed by the regime in September for his participation in a protest against the clerical system of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
“A source told IranWire that Hossein Afkari and his son Hamid were cleaning the area around Navid’s grave when they were detained on the morning of December 17 and taken to an undisclosed location,” the IranWire website reported Thursday.
Iran’s regime sentenced Navid’s brothers Vahid and Habib to 56 years and six months in prison and 24 years and three months in prison, respectively. Both brothers are also slated to receive 74 lashes.
“The family had not been allowed to visit the cemetery or care for the headstone and the area around the grave,” IranWire reported. “But the father and son had gone to the cemetery to tidy the unkempt area around the grave, which had not been prepared for the tombstone to be positioned.”
“The eyewitness said the arrest was carried out without any clashes or confrontations,” the report said. “The father and his son slowly accompanied the officers and left the cemetery with them.”
The Iranian authoritiess did not provide a reason for the arrest of Hossein and Hamid.
The extrajudicial hanging of Navid garnered worldwide condemnation and sparked the campaign United for Navid. The regime claimed Navid had killed a regime security guard during the 2018 protests.
The US sanctioned the prison and judicial officials involved in the wrongful hanging of Navid.
Masih Alinejad, a prominent dissident Iranian journalist and activist and the principal organizer of the United for Navid campaign, said she has received many death threats for her work.
After the Iranian regime executed dissident journalist Rouhollah Zam on Saturday, Masih posted a video and tweet, writing: “Imagine you sit in your house and you receive hundreds of death threats from clerics, pro-regime activists and journalists inside Iran, all calling for your abduction and execution. What would be your response? Here is my response.”
The Jerusalem Post sent press queries to the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders regarding the death threats targeting Masih.
Iran’s regime executed Zam for the allegation of “corruption on earth,” a charge that cites the crime but is used by the regime as a catchall term to silence dissent.