Global Athlete has demanded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United World Wrestling (UWW) expel Iran following the execution of wrestling champion, Navid Afkari.
Iranian state media reported that Afkari was executed on Saturday, despite the case attracting global attention and leading to the likes of United States President, Donald Trump, pleading for clemency.
The 27-year-old had been given two death sentences for allegedly stabbing a security guard to death and his involvement in demonstrations against the country’s regime in 2018.
Afkari had claimed he was tortured into making a false confession and human rights groups and activists believe he was unjustly targeted by the Iranian authorities to intimidate others who might choose to participate in peaceful protests.
The IOC and UWW claimed they were in “constant contact” with the Iranian National Olympic Committee and the Iranian Wrestling Federation to “facilitate a solution”, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
Since the execution, the IOC and UWW described the news as “very sad” and “devastating”, but Global Athlete has urged the organisations to take further action.
“The Global Athlete extends our sincere condolences to Navid Afkari’s family and friends,” a statement said.
“The Iranian Government took the life of an innocent human, an athlete, and a wrestler. Our thoughts are also with Navid’s two brothers who are still incarcerated in inhumane conditions.
“We call on athlete solidarity to demand that the International Olympic Committee and United World Wrestling immediately implement sanctions that expel Iran from world sport for this heinous execution.
“The actions of the Iranian Government are a clear breach of human rights; such acts cannot go unpunished. For executing an athlete, this government no longer deserves the privilege of competing in international sport.”