September 2, 2020

By Sami Khan
International Business Times

The world is no stranger to Iran’s obnoxious and orthodox rulings for those who stand in defiance of the supreme leader or his regime. In yet another shocking ruling by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Court, Navid Afkari was sentenced to two executions, a six years and six months imprisonment and 74 lashes. His crime: participating in peaceful protests in Kamerun and Shiraz back in 2018.

Afkari’s sentencing has garnered global attention and widespread criticism. Afkari is a known figure, a decorated wrestling champion who has won several medals in various national tournaments. But he’s now facing the charges of “attending illegal gatherings, assembly and conspiracy to commit crimes against national security, and insulting the supreme leader.”

Afkari was actively participating in protests against the government in several cities over the country’s plummeting economy and inflation.

Free Navid Afkari

The voices have grown louder to free Navid Afkari, who faces the criminal charges. Afkari’s mother, in an emotional video, denounced the sham trial against her sons, which include Afkari’s two other brothers who have also been arrested and face criminal charges. In a letter published by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Afkari said the Iranian authorities tortured him and forced him to confess to manufactured charges.

Many human rights activists, prominent figures, wrestlers have all demanded the rulers to stop the execution of Afkari. The Twitter handle of God, which goes by @TheTweetOfGod, also weighed in on the sensitive matter and said in a strongly-worded tweet addressing directly to the Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei.

“After torturing him in custody, Iran has sentenced its own champion wrestler #NavidAfkari to TWO death sentences for attending a 2018 protest. That’s two more than he should have, and one more than @khamenei_ir should have,” God tweeted.

Khamenei’s Twitter account has a pinned tweet, “In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful,” which is the Arabic literature from the Quran recited before doing anything. Khamenei must reflect on the holy words and take cognisance of Afkari’s criminal sentencing.