An Iranian champion wrestler has been given 2 death sentences after protesting against the country's government
- Iran has condemned a 27-year-old champion wrestler to two death sentences and "74 lashes" for protesting against the country's government.
- According to Iran Human Rights, Navid Afkari was amongst hundreds of demonstrators who took to the streets to protest against the country's worsening economic situation in August 2018.
- He was convicted of a number of charges, including murder and insulting the supreme leader, however claims to have confessed under torture, reports The Human Rights Activists News Agency.
- "For around 50 days I had to endure the most horrendous physical and psychological tortures," Afkari reportedly said in a letter.
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Iran has condemned a 27-year-old champion wrestler to two death sentences and 74 lashes for protesting against the country's government.
Navid Afkari, who has won medals in numerous of Iran's national tournaments, was given the sentence by The Islamic Republic of Iran's Supreme Court on Saturday and his request for an appeal was rejected, according to Iran Human Rights.
Afkari's brothers, Vahid and Habib Afkari, were also handed prison sentences of 54 years and 27 years respectively, while both will receive 74 lashes.
According to Iran Human Rights, the three brothers were among hundreds of demonstrators who took to the streets to protest against the country's worsening economic situation and high levels of inflation in August 2018.
They have now been convicted of over 20 different charges, including "corruption by forming a group of people opposed to the system, propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and insulting the supreme leader."
Navid Afkari was also charged with murdering a person said to be a "plain clothes agent."
The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said, as per People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, that Navid Afkari had written to them in September 2019 to report that he had confessed to the crimes under torture.
"For around 50 days I had to endure the most horrendous physical and psychological tortures," Afkari reportedly wrote.
"They would beat me with sticks and batons, hitting my arms, legs, abdomen and back. They would place a plastic bag on my head and torture me until I suffocated to the very brink of death. They also poured alcohol into my nose."
A forensic pathologist has since confirmed that injuries sustained in prison by Afkari were from torture, while eyewitnesses also told of the torture. The Supreme Court, however, dismissed the evidence as inconclusive, according to Iran Human Rights.
Amnesty International reports that China was the only country to impose more death penalties than Iran during 2019.
Of the 251 people executed in Iran, 13 executions took place in public, while four defendants had committed their crimes before the age of 18.
Amnesty also reports that many of the country's death sentences were imposed after "proceedings that did not meet international fair trial standards."
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