Navid Afkari

Navid Afkari was an Iranian wrestler. He gained international attention after he was sentenced to death by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was sentenced to death for the alleged murder of a secret security agent, Hasan Torkman that occurred during the 2018 Iranian protests. Afkari was sentenced to death without proper evidence of his involvement in the murder. Despite the global outcry to overturn Afkari’s execution, he was executed on 12 September 2020 at the age of 27. For the same case, his brothers, Vahid was sentenced to 54 years in prison, and Habib was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Officials stated that Afkari was executed by hanging but many claimed that Afkari was tortured to death. Afkari was a national champion in wrestling.

What makes Navid Afkari so well-known?

On September 12, 2020, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran sentenced an Iranian wrestler to death and executed him.

Where did Navid Afkari get his start?

In the year 1993, Navid Afkari was born. Shiraz, Iran, is where he was born. He was of Iranian descent. Hossein Afkari, his father, and Bahieh Namjoo, his mother, are his parents. Vahid and Habib were his two daughters.

Protests in Afkari in 2018, Murder of Hasan Torkman, Allegations, and Arrest

Afkari was one of the many Iranians who took to the streets in 2018 to protest Khamaenei’s authoritarian regime and the country’s deteriorating living conditions.

Following the rally, he was arrested and charged with several offenses.

He was accused of “insulting the supreme leader,” “waging war against Heaven,” and assassinating Hasan Torkman.
Torkman was an IRGC undercover service agent tasked with putting an end to the demonstrations. Torkman was assassinated, and Afkari was suspected of being involved. Torkman’s murder had nothing to do with Afkari.

Two hours prior to Torkman’s death, Afkari was seen walking on the sidewalk while talking on the phone, according to CCTV video.

Afkari was charged with murder despite the lack of proof.

Afkari admitted to the murder charge, but later said he was tortured into making a false confession.

Execution of Navid Afkari’s Sentence

Afkari was sentenced to two capital penalties, two death sentences, for his part in the demonstrations and the suspected murder case.

For the same offence, his brothers Vahid and Habib were sentenced to 54 and 27 years in prison, respectively.

Afkari’s death sentence caused international outrage, and calls to reverse Afkari’s execution were made. President Donald Trump, IOC President Thomas Bach, and UFC President Dana White have all called for Afkari’s death penalty to be overturned.

Afkari was finally hanged in Shiraz’s Adel-Abad prison on Saturday, September 12, 2020. The circumstances surrounding Afkari’s death have not been revealed. He was allegedly hanged, according to officials. Witnesses, on the other hand, believed Navid was tortured to death. Navid’s face was deformed, his nose was broken, and his clothes were soaked with blood, all of which indicated blunt trauma. One or two days before his execution, Navid was refused the right to see his parents or relatives.

Afkari was buried in Sangar, Sepidan, at night with a high-security presence and only immediate family members.

Following the execution of Navid Afkari, the International Olympic Committee released a statement. It said, “The execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari is heartbreaking news. The IOC is stunned by today’s announcement. In letters sent this week, IOC President Thomas Bach made direct personal appeals to Iran’s Supreme Leader and President, asking for mercy for Navid Afkari while respecting the Islamic Republic of Iran’s sovereignty. It is profoundly disappointing that the IOC, in collaboration with the NOC of Iran, United World Wrestling, and the National Iranian Wrestling Federation, failed to achieve our goal despite the pleas of athletes from all over the world. Our thoughts are with Navid Afkari’s family and friends.”

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