Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Shock as Iranian footballer reportedly facing execution

Shock as Iranian footballer reportedly facing execution

According to reports, the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to execute professional footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani.

Ashkan Dejagah, a former player for Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin, is prohibited from leaving the country.

As demonstrations against the Iranian government continue, the regime continues to persecute its own citizens. Approximately 20,000 people have been detained in the past three months for participating in rallies against the Islamic Republic’s administration, including a number of notable athletes.

After the public execution of 23-year-old wrestler Madzhidreza Rahnavard [by hanging from a construction crane in the city of Mashhad on December 12], it is alleged that 26-year-old professional football player Amir Nasr-Azadani faces the same fate.

The former Iran under-21 international, who was most recently under contract with Iranian second-division team Iranjavan FC, is accused of, among other things, “sedition against the authorities” and “war against God.” Under the Islamic Republic’s penal code, the maximum sentence is death.

The judgement was not consistent with the notion of the rule of law, as it was issued only a few days after the football player’s detention on November 18. In addition, the player was not given with legal representation. According to human rights groups, Nasr-Azadani’s confessions  were extracted through torture.

FIFPro stated that it was shocked and disgusted by the conviction because Nasr-Azadani “fought for women’s rights and basic freedoms in his country.”

Andreas Larem, a member of the Bundestag in Germany, stated that he believed the Iranian regime intended to use Nasr-Azadani as an example.

“We can’t let an entire generation that stands up for human rights and freedom rot in prison or watch as one after another is executed,” said Larem, who called for “the immediate release of Amir Nasr Azadani and the other convicts.”

Numerous footballers have shown their support for Nasr-Azadani, notably Radamel Falcao and Marc Barta of Colombia, as well as Luis Suarez, Ronald Araujo, and Diego Godin of Uruguay.

Shakira, an internationally renowned pop artist, has also stated her support.

Shock as Iranian footballer reportedly facing execution

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