World Media

Iranian champion wrestler, Navid Afkari executed

US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington

Reports published overseas say Afkari was condemned on the basis of confessions aired on television after being extracted under torture, prompting online campaigns of support for his release.

The case revived a demand inside the country for Iran to stop carrying out the death penalty.

On 8th September, the athletes" union said in a statement, "He has been unreasonably aimed by the Iranian agencies who want to create an illustration out of a popular, high-profile athlete and frighten others who may possibly dare practice their human right to take part in a peaceful rally'. Indeed, the televised segment resembled many other suspected coerced confessions aired over the last several years in Iran, The Associated Press reports.

The early morning death by hanging of 27-year-old Navid Afkari came despite global calls that Iran halt the execution or face consequences. Iranian state media broadcast Afkari's confession last week after Donald Trump, the United States president, called for him to be spared.

Iran has said it has executed a young wrestler over the murder of a public sector worker during anti-government protests in August 2018.

Mr Afkari's lawyers said on Saturday that Iranian officials had carried out the execution without giving their client a final visit with his family, which they said was dictated by law.

"We hear that Naveed Afkari was arrested in connection with the 2018 protests outside Iran and the alleged killing of a security official".

Afkari was executed on Saturday, according to Iran's state-run news agency IRNA, reported CNN. "Thank you!", Trump had written on Twitter.

The state television unit also showed vague police documents and, without elaborating, described the murder as a "personal dispute".

It said Afkari's cell phone was in the area and showed surveillance footage of him walking down the street and talking on the phone.

Ultimately, Iran ignored Trump's request.

"It's deeply regrettable that the allure of athletes across the Earth, and all of the behind-the-scenes function of the IOC, together with the Australian National Olympic Committee, the International Wrestling Federation as well as the Czech Wrestling Federation, failed to attain their target", the IOC said.

Addressing the protests, Esmaeili said, according to the Tehran newspaper, that the campaign aimed at stopping the execution led the judiciary to provide a videotaped confession and re-enactments carried out by Afkari himself to Iranian State TV IRIB.

There was considerable worldwide pressure on Iran to not go ahead with the death sentence.