On the anniversary of 1988-massacre in Iran, wrestling champion and executed political prisoner Navid Afkari’s brother Saeed Afkari has been physically assaulted and arrested by the cruel regime in Iran.
Saeed Afkari used Twitter as a platform against the regime and to shed light on the injustices against his two other detained brothers, Vahid and Habib. His Twitter account was deleted after his arrest. According to human rights organizations and social media reports, Saeed Afkari was beaten and detained by six undercover agents upon entering the city of Shiraz, his hometown in southwestern Iran.
In a tweet on September 10, Saeed Afkari had said his family and relatives were under pressure by the regime to prevent them from holding a ceremony for Navid on the anniversary of his execution.
“Security agencies are threatening us against holding Navid’s anniversary ceremony. We have been standing under your brutal repression for 3 years. We will continue to stand, despite our grief,” he had tweeted.
Reports say his sister Elham Afkari was also attacked and beaten by agents upon his arrest.
Saeed’s brothers Navid and Vahid were arrested in September 2018, while Habib Afkari was arrested in December 2018 in connection with Iran’s August 2018 nationwide protests. The brothers have been repeatedly beaten and tortured during interrogations.
After being tried by Shiraz’s Revolutionary Court, despite the lack of evidence, Navid Afkari was sentenced to two death sentences, six years and six months imprisonment, and 74 lashes for supposedly killing a security agent. Vahid Afkari was sentenced to 33 years and nine months imprisonment and 74 lashes and Habib Afkari to 15 years and eight months imprisonment and 74 lashes in multiple grossly unfair trials.
The brothers repeatedly maintained their innocence in court and in written complaints and said they had been tortured to “confess”.
Despite the serious flaws in the case against the brothers, and despite international support for wrestling champion Navid Afkari and calls for authorities to halt the execution, he was executed at dawn in Shiraz’s Adelabad Prison on September 12, 2020.
That same month, Vahid and Habib Afkari were transferred to the “Ebrat” isolated ward, a detention center for prisoners who are deprived of telephone calls.
Previously, Saeed Afkari had tweeted that he had met with Habib and Vahid Afkari and that they were being held “in solitary confinement, without the right of contact and the right to medical treatment”. According to a June 7 report by Amnesty International, the two brothers “have been subjected to renewed torture and other ill-treatment in Adelabad prison in Shiraz. Since September 2020, they have been held in windowless solitary confinement cells and denied access to adequate healthcare, fresh air, telephone calls, and face-to-face family visits. Authorities arbitrarily arrested them in 2018 after their participation in protests, forcibly disappeared them, and repeatedly tortured them for months. They were sentenced to lengthy imprisonment after grossly unfair trials”.
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