US sanctions Iranian judge who sentenced wrestler to death

United States imposes sanctions on Iranian judge who sentenced a wrestler to death over his role in protests.

Ben Ariel ,

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The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on an Iranian judge who sentenced a wrestler to death over his role in protests, AFP reports.

Navid Afkari, 27, who had won national competitions, was hanged earlier this month after being convicted of murder during demonstrations two years ago in the southern city of Shiraz.

The United States said it was taking action against Judge Seyyed Mahmoud Sadati, voicing alarm over allegations that Afkari was tortured in custody to force a confession.

"His killing was an unconscionable act," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement quoted by AFP.

"The United States calls upon all nations to promote accountability for this regime by imposing sanctions like the ones announced today," he added.

The State Department also imposed sanctions on Judge Mohammad Soltani over sentences handed to members of the Baha'i faith, which faces wide restrictions in Iran.

"The actions taken today by the United States expose Iran's Revolutionary courts and their judges for what they really are: tools designed to enforce the Iranian regime's brutal ideology and suppress dissent," Pompeo said.

Under the sanctions, the United States will freeze any assets on its territory linked to the two judges as well as two prison systems.

Iran regularly executes citizens who are convicted of murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking, adultery and espionage.

In a report released earlier this year, Amnesty International highlighted Iran on its list of countries with the highest numbers of executions in 2019.



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