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Iran Executes wrestler, German athletes association urges Olympics to ban Iran

The execution of a 27-year-old Iranian wrestler has evoked an international outcry from athletic organizations to governments around the world who are condemning the Islamic regime for its unjust treatment of dissidents. 

The German organization Athleten Deutschland called on the International Olympics Committee to ban the Islamic Republic of Iran fom the Olympics for executing Navid Afkari.

“The International Olympic Committee [IOC] and the International Sports Federations must exclude the Iranian regime from the international sports system with immediate effect,” said Maximilian Klein, a representative for International Sports Policy at Athleten Deutschland. “The inaction of the IOC is unacceptable. Iranian athletes should continue to be allowed to compete under a neutral flag and should be protected. Sanctions must be directed against the regime and the political leadership. The Iranian Olympic Committee must also be suspended by the IOC.”

“This act cannot remain without consequences for Iran. Its government ‘instrumentalizes’ sports for its purposes and has made an example of Navid Afkari, a protesting athlete. Iran is not the only country in international sports that disregards human rights, but with the killing of the 27-year-old wrestler Navid Afkari it has crossed a line.”

Iran executed Afkari on Saturday without warning or a last visit with his family. Afkari, who was arrested during national protests in 2018, was accused of killing a security guard. Afkari claimed that he confessed to the crime under brutal torture and he was not treated for his injuries. His brothers were also arrested and sentenced to dozens of years in prison.

Human rights groups are criticizing the IOC and United World Wrestling for not taking a stronger stance against Iran.

Even U.S. President Donald Trump joined the outpouring of celebrities and athletes on social media who called on Iran to spare Afkari before his execution.

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