Iran’s regime sentences boxer to death for his peaceful protest vs. corruption

Iranian boxing champion Mohammad Javad was sentenced to death for protesting economic corruption in Iran, a continuation of Iran's execution spree of athletes.

Iranian boxer Sadaf Khadem and coach Mahyar Monshipour react before the fight against French boxer Anne Chauvin during an official boxing bout in Royan, France, April 13, 2019 (photo credit: STEPHANE MAHE / REUTERS)
Iranian boxer Sadaf Khadem and coach Mahyar Monshipour react before the fight against French boxer Anne Chauvin during an official boxing bout in Royan, France, April 13, 2019
(photo credit: STEPHANE MAHE / REUTERS)

The clerical regime in Iran is continuing its execution spree of athletes, targeting the boxing champion Mohammad Javad for protesting the theocratic state’s economic corruption in November, 2019.

The journalist and women’s rights campaigner Masih Alinejad tweeted on Saturday: “Death sentence for another athlete in Iran for the crime of protesting in Nov 2019.

Mohammad Javad, 26, is a boxing champion. They sentenced him to death for ‘spreading corruption on Earth’. We couldn’t save Navid Afkari Iranian wrestler. Global athletes may help us this time.”

Iranian human rights experts have noted that the charge of "spreading corruption of Earth" is frequently used against protestors and dissidents in the Islamic Republic to purge the country of any resistance against the policies of the regime's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. 

Vigil held for Navid Afkari, a wrestler killed by the Iranian regime, in Toronto, Canada (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Vigil held for Navid Afkari, a wrestler killed by the Iranian regime, in Toronto, Canada (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The micro-blog Twitter was abuzz with tweets from Iranian-Americans demanding that Javar not be executed.

Iran’s rulers hanged the champion Greco-Roman wrestler Navid Afkari in 2020 for his peaceful protest against the regime’s economic and political mismanagement in 2018. Afkari’s name is now synonymous with the Islamic Republic’s persecution of its athletes for their protests against the worsening economic situation in the country and the lack of civil liberties for Iranians.

Alinejad wrote “Before being executed Navid Afkari said: ‘Islamic Republic is looking for a neck to tie a noose around.’ This time Mohammad Javad Vafaei is facing execution for the crime of joining Iran nationwide protests.We Iranians call on global athletes to be his voice.#UnitedforNavid.” 

United for Navid is an organization for Iranian athletes who aim to secure justice for Afkari and highlight the Islamic Republic’s bias against women athletes and sports corruption within the regime-controlled sports entities.

United for Navid called on USA Wrestling’s Rich Bender to pull the plug on a slated February dual meet with Iran’s regime in Texas  because the head of Iran’s Wrestling Federation, Alireza Dabir, urged “Death to America” with violence in a January television interview.

Sardar Pashaei , the former head coach of Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestling team and manager of the United for Navid campaign, tweeted: “Another athlete in danger of execution!"

"The Islamic Republic wants to execute another athlete who took part in the street protests. #Mohammad_Javad_Vafaei is only 26 years old, an athlete and boxing coach. Please be the voice of this innocent athlete."

Lawdan Bazargan, an Iranian-American human rights activist, tweeted, "Please help us #SaveMohammadJavad. He is one of the protesters of November 2019 mass protests in Iran against the fuel price increase. He was sentenced to death with bogus charges of destroying public property, charges that he denies."

The Jerusalem Post reported in January 2021 that the UN condemned the execution of the champion Iranian boxer Mutairi in Sheiban Prison, located in Khuzestan Province. Mutairi, 30, endured severe torture, which led to his false confession that he had killed two Basij militia members in 2018, activists and family members said.