Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, September 13, 2020—The brutal execution of Iranian wrestling champion and political prisoner Navid Afkari has sent shockwaves around the world, drawing condemnations and outrage from athletes, politicians, activists, and members of many communities inside Iran and across the world.
Afkari, 27, was arrested by security forces for taking part in popular protests in the province of Shiraz in 2018, and was sentenced to death after being violently tortured and forced to confess to crimes he did not commit. Despite a widespread international campaign calling for the revocation of Afkari’s sentence, the Iranian regime proceeded with the gruesome deed at early dawn on Saturday.
Shortly after the execution, political prisoners across Iran, who themselves are under extreme pressure by the regime, condemned the criminal act and pledged to not give in to the regime’s repression.
Political prisoners at Greater Tehran Prison (Fashafuyeh) condemn the execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari
“To our families and people: Do not remain silent,” wrote a group of prisoners at the Greater Tehran Prison (Fashafuyeh) in an open letter that condemned the execution of Navid Afkari. “Our only solution is to stand up to this regime.”
“As we near the anniversary of the November uprising, the criminal rulers of our country executed freedom-loving athlete Navid Afkari in fear of another uprising and to try to create an environment of fear among the people,” the political prisoners of Fashafuyeh prison wrote. “We the political prisoners at the prison of Greater Tehran condemn the execution of Navid, who stood up against the mullahs’ rule, and we call on all the people of Iran to not remain silent and to come to the streets and cry out for freedom and the overthrow of dictatorship.”
Political prisoners at Karaj Central Prison condemn the execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari
In a separate letter, the political prisoners of Karaj Central Prison condemned the execution of Navid Afkari and wrote: “The tyrannical mullahs committed another crime. After the execution of 30,000 innocent political prisoners in 1988, they don’t shy away from any other crime. Today, another youth was sent to the gallows, because [supreme leader Ali] Khamenei and [judiciary chief Ebrahim] Raisi know very well that their only means to survive is to kill our youth and suppress our freedom fighters.”
The prisoners called on the people of Iran to join and continue the struggle for the overthrow of the regime. “We will continue this path even if we are under torture and threat of execution and we will overthrow this regime,” the prisoners pledged in their letter.
Political prisoners at Qezel Hesar Prison condemn the execution of Iranian wrestling champion Navid Afkari
The prisoners of Tehran’s Qezel Hesar prison wrote in a letter, “These criminals think they can implant fear in the hearts of the people by executing our brave youth… The end of Khamenei’s rule is nearing, and he will be held accountable in Iran’s streets. The brutal execution of the enchained champion Navid Afkari will only add to the rage of the people and the youth of Shiraz. Khamenei should know that with this criminal act, he has only brough himself closer to the overthrow of his regime.”