The Islamic Republic of Iran is holding a witness to the brutal torture of the executed champion wrestler Navid Afkari incommunicado, according to a new report.
The NGO Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) reported on its website on Tuesday that Shahin Naseri, who witnessed the shocking torture of Afkari, was transferred from prison more than two weeks ago, and is being held in solitary confinement.
Naseri‘s lawyer Babak Paknia told the Center for Human Rights in Iran on September 27 that since he was relocated to the police security unit in Shiraz, Fars Province, Naseri has been allowed to make only one short telephone call, to his father-in-law. He did not disclose where he was being held.
“The Revolutionary Court in Shiraz says he’s in prison but when I submitted a power of attorney [for Naseri to sign], the prison authorities wrote on it that he was not there and he had been handed over to the police security unit on September 11 ” Paknia said.
Paknia continued, saying that “Mr. Naseri was doing time for fraud and had not committed any new crime. Therefore, there was no reason for him to be moved from a public ward to the security unit. I think it surely has something to do with the Navid Afkari case. There can’t be any other reason.”
“Naseri doesn’t have any other judicial issue… based on personal experience it’s very obvious that they don’t take someone to the police security center for no reason,” Paknia told the human rights organization.
Iranian regime authorities arrested the 27-year-old Afkari for peacefully protesting against regime corruption in 2018, and claimed he killed a security guard who was assigned to identify demonstrators. Human rights organizations and Western governments say the regime imposed torture methods on the champion Greco-Roman wrestler to secure a forced confession. Afkari said prior to his execution that he was tortured to admit a crime he did not commit.
As a global campaign surged to save Afkari's life, the regime hastily executed Afkari on September 12. Iran analysts believe the mounting pressure on the regime could have stopped the execution. As a result, they argue, Iran's regime swiftly murdered Afkari without due process.
According to the Center for Human Rights in Iran, "in October 2019, Naseri filed a signed statement with the judiciary in which he said when he was brought into the police station in Shiraz in late September 2018 (soon after Afkari’s arrest), he saw Afkari being severely beaten by two plain-clothed men with a metal bar and a baton, cursing and telling him to confess to their version of the murder of a security guard in August 2018.”
Paknia said “the way Naseri has been treated is entirely unlawful.”
According to an audio, Naseri said the Medical Examiner’s Office probed the marks on Afkari’s body and confirmed he had been tortured, wrote the human rights organization.
“The police said there was no need for me to appear in court to testify [about Afkari being tortured], the judge will investigate if he feels it’s necessary,’” Naseri said.
He added: “The man standing above Navid said, ‘Whatever I say is the truth.’ I don’t know his name but he had colored eyes with a bright red face and long hair that seemed to be implants. Navid had his hands on his head. The man pounded Navid’s arm four times and cursed at him and said, ‘What I say is what happened.’”
Naseri said: “Navid was spread out on the floor with his hands on his head begging them to stop beating him. When I was brought into the station, I saw Navid’s arm was crushed and inflamed. Navid was saying ‘Sergeant Abbasi broke my arm.’
“I was at the police station for about two months and I witnessed Navid being in pain and discomfort from the broken arm. I saw his hand being struck with my own eyes.”