The politically active athlete Navid Afkari was executed in Iran three days ago. The confession was obtained under torture. The federal government should have done more for him. It is now too late for him, the human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh still has the opportunity to do something before she succumbs to her hunger strike.
Navid Afkari was executed in Iran on September 12th. He was arrested in Shiraz with his two brothers Vahid and Habib. They were tortured and forced to declare that Navid killed a regime supporter on the street. In the beginning these three people had no lawyer and no way to defend themselves. For two years the regime pressured the family so that they could not contact people in Iran or the world to speak about this torture and the preparation for the execution. Navid himself and his family thought that one could talk to this regime and clear everything up, but less than a month ago when Navid saw that everything was boiling down to execution, he published an appeal and made it clear what this was about: ” There’s not a single piece of evidence to show I’m guilty in this damn case. But they don’t want to listen to us. I realized they were looking for a neck for their rope. “
Yes, that’s the bitter truth. He said to himself: Now the world public and everyone around the world must hear me and help me, and since there is a broad movement against the death penalty in Iran, Navid’s appeal has hit like a bomb. Lots of people got involved and all hell broke loose on social media. We saw in Iran a month ago that millions smelled their no to the death penalty. That was a referendum against the state murder in Iran. Navid was an athlete and we saw solidarity with him all over the world, the world public stood up and protested against this death penalty.
I have indirect contact with Navid’s family and have heard that he has been sentenced to death twice – once for blasphemy and once for alleged murder. His brothers were also sentenced, one to 54 years in prison and the other to 17 years. All because of their struggle against the Islamic regime, insulting Khamenei and alleged activity against Iran’s security. As everyone knows, Navid was active against the Islamic regime and took part in demonstrations against the regime in Shiraz in 2018. The Islamic regime executed Navid despite all international appeals.
According to his mother, she was called on the morning of September 12th. The caller wanted to know who she was; When she replied that she was Navid’s mother, he said: “We killed him” and hung up. Yes, this is the Islamic regime in Iran. Although it was banned, people organized a memorial service and sent flowers.
I am very outraged and sad and I think the German government should do more. I have been to Berlin twice this month hoping the Foreign Minister or even the Chancellor would do something. What we have heard is this boring phrase, “We are against any form of execution” – that’s all. I am of the opinion that the policy of appeasement with the murderers in Iran must now be over and we must politically boycott the Iranian regime after this inhuman act. We should ban officials of the regime from international arenas and travel and the Fifa and put pressure on all other international institutions.
It is now too late for Navid Afkari. But there is still something you can do for someone else: Nasrin Sotoudeh is an Iranian human rights activist and lawyer and has helped people who were sentenced to death, especially for children and young people. Earlier this month she was awarded the Human Rights Prize of German Association of Judges (DRB) honored. Last year she was sentenced to 33 years imprisonment and 148 lashes. She is accused of “disturbing public order” and “sinful behavior in public without a headscarf,” writes the Daily mirror.
Nasrin is currently on a hunger strike. In protest against the fact that political prisoners were the only ones excluded when prisoners were sent home because of the risk of corona infection. Nasrin’s health has deteriorated rapidly in the past few days, according to her family. Her husband and two children are very worried about her. But they could still be saved.