- Navid Afkari, the vice-champion of Iran's youth wrestling, has been sentenced to death.
- The Afkari brothers say their confessions about “participating in the murder of a security officer” were taken from them under torture.
- The announcement of the death sentence for Navid Afkari in the past few days has created a wave of protests against this sentence on social networks.
Hassan Younesi, the lawyer of the Afkari brothers, said the convicts of the protests of August 2018, announced the transfer of all three brothers from Adelabad prison in Shiraz to unknown places and their families were unaware of them.. The news has raised concerns about the possible execution of Navid Afkari.
Vahid and Habib Afkari were also sentenced to 54 years and six months in prison and 27 years and three months in prison, respectively. All three were also sentenced to 74 lashes.
The three brothers were charged by the Shiraz Revolutionary Court with “forming a group,” “killing a security official,” and “participating in a nationwide protest” in August 2018.
The protests began during the rapid rise of the dollar and gold prices and quickly spread from Isfahan and Karaj to other cities, including Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz.
Reformist political activist Mehdi Mahmoudian also tweeted that Navid Afkari had been transferred from prison to an unknown location on the evening of Thursday September 3rd. He also said that Habib Afkari, who was scheduled to visit his family on a weekly basis, was denied a visit and transferred to an unknown location.
“Possibility Of Execution Of Navid Afkari”
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist living in the United States, also tweeted about the “possible execution of Navid Afkari in secret.”
Meanwhile, Mahrokh Gholamhosseinpour, an Iranian journalist, reported the transfer of Navid Afkari to the “Ebrat Ward” in Adelabad Prison, which is for holding executions, and the transfer of Habib and Vahid Afkari to the “Ershad” ward, which is a place for “punishing prisoners.”
The judiciary has accused Navid Afkari of stabbing Hassan Turkman, a security guard at the Shiraz Water and Sewerage Authority, to death on August 1, 2018. The court also cited a video to rule. But Navid’s lawyer says the camera footage of shops near the scene of the murder was “an hour before the crime”.
Hassan Younesi adds: “One of the defendants was present at that place. The claim that the film shows the moment and the scene of the murder is not true at all.” Regarding the testimony of a witness who testified that the defendants described it to him after he committed the murder, Younesi said: “His statements were under pressure. We submitted documents to the Supreme Court that was not accepted.”
Younesi expressed hope that it would be possible to accept the defendants’ request for a retrial and said the investigation be re-conducted and the court’s evidence re-examined. According to HRANA, Younesi also reported that the judiciary has put pressure on some news agencies to prevent the publication of his conversations about his client’s case.
The announcement of the death sentence for Navid Afkari in the past few days has created a wave of protests against this sentence on social networks.
Reza Khandan, the wife of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer for the prisoner, tweeted that her husband had condemned the death sentence of Navid Afkari and “called for a fair trial and an impartial trial of her case.”
News of the sentence has spread beyond Iran’s borders, and even US President Donald Trump has called for the death sentence of 27-year-old wrestler Navid Afkari to be overturned. A group of world freestyle and Olympic wrestling champions have also protested against Navid’s execution.
The Afkari brothers say their confessions about “participating in the murder of a security officer” were taken from them under torture.
The mother of the three brothers emphasized in a video message that her son Vahid had been so “physically and mentally tortured” that he had attempted suicide three times. According to him, her son Vahid was “severely tortured to confess against his brother Navid.”