Noose hanging execution
Noose hanging execution iStock

Iran on Saturday executed wrestling champion Navid Afkari, who participated in an anti-regime protest two years ago, state media reported.

Afkari, 27, was convicted of murdering a security guard at the 2018 protest in Shiraz, Iran, and his death comes in spite of a global campaign to spare his life. His brothers, Vahid Afkari and Habib Afkari, were also arrested at the protest, and sentenced to 54 and 27 years in prison, the The Guardian reported.

The Islamic Republic News Agency quoted the head of southern Fars' justice department as saying that Afkari was executed Saturday morning "after legal procedures were carried out at the insistence of the parents and the family of the victim."

Israel Judo Association Chairman Moshe Ponte called on the International Olympic Committee and the sports world in general to stand with Iranian athletes.

"The entire world should be shocked at the execution of Navad Afkari, the Iranian wrestler, who 'dared' protest against the regime," Ponte wrote.

"We, Israeli judokas, have seen with our own eyes the fear with which the Iranian regime rules its athletes. We saw Saeid Mollaei beg to compete with Sagi Muki, and his frustration and fear when the regime forbade him from doing so and threatened him. Mollaei was brave to desert Iran. Afkari was not as lucky as Mollaei, and he was executed this morning."

Among those protesting Afkari's murder were US President Donald Trump, the International Olympic Committee, the World Players Association, and Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Amnesty International has the details of over 500 protesters, journalists and human rights activists, who were taken unjustly to trial for the protest. The Iranian regime's punishments for those who were convicted range between one month and ten years in prison. In several instances, the prisoners have been executed.