Iranian regime slated to execute a second champion wrestler

i24NEWS

3 min read
A woman holds a portrait of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari during a demonstration on the Dam Square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on September 13, 2020.
AFP PHOTO / ANP / EVERT ELZINGAA woman holds a portrait of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari during a demonstration on the Dam Square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on September 13, 2020.

Mehdi Ali Hosseini was arrested in 2015 and charged with murder during a group brawl

The Iranian regime looks set to execute another champion wrestler, still in the shadow of the judiciary's decision to hang Greco-Roman wrestler Navid Afkari in September for his role in protesting regime corruption, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Mehdi Ali Hosseini, from the city of Andimeshk in the province of Khuzestan, was arrested in 2015 and charged with murder during a mass brawl.

Hosseini's family fear that the execution is imminent, according to the Persian language website of German outlet Deutsche Welle (DW).

Tehran has previous form for posturing that a defendant who has been condemned to death still has a right of appeal, only to enforce a peremptory sentence amid family shock and bewilderment.

The victim's family has refused to forgive the 29-year-old athlete for the alleged murder, according to the DW website.

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Cameron Khansarinia, policy director for the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI), a nonpartisan organization of Iranian-Americans, told The Post on Saturday that "while most athletes fear the further cancellation of sporting events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes in Iran fear being murdered by the Islamic Republic. After murdering champion wrestler Navid Afkari, the criminal regime occupying Iran intends to put fellow wrestler Mehdi Ali Hosseini to death.”

Khansarinia sharply criticized the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its failure to take official action against Tehran for its purge against some of the country's top athletes.

"The disregard for the lives of Iranians shown by international organizations including the IOC has removed any and all of their legitimacy as humanitarian bodies," Khansarinia maintained.

Mariam Memarsadeghi, an Iranian-American expert on human rights in the Islamic Republic and a leading proponent for a democratic Iran, told The Post that Tehran's current course of action was consistent with Khamenei's increased use of state-sponsored repression to draw attention away from "mounting failures."

Afkari's execution, along with the December killing of dissident journalist Rouhollah Zam, who was lured to Iraq from exile in Paris in an elaborate honey trap shows the lengths to which the regime will go to maintain its iron grip on power.

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