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Human Rights Organization Releases Audio File of Navid Afkari's Trial

Iran -- Navid Afkari
Iran -- Navid Afkari

The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights Organization (IHRO) has released an audio file from a court hearing of Navid Afkari, a decorated Iranian wrestler who was executed in an Iranian prison on Saturday.

In the brief audio file, the 27-year old national champion asks the judge to show a film related to his alleged killing of a security guard during Iran's August 2018 mass protests.

The judge refuses and says, "all these are formalities," adding "the film's content is registered in the case's minutes."

The unidentified judge goes further, threatening the young defendant, "I am a judge who digs out all details---so that I will safely slip the noose around your neck."

The execution of Afkari for allegedly killing an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps member, who also served as a security officer for the water and sewage company in Shiraz, has triggered a barrage of protests worldwide.

Afkari was hanged in a highly suspicious situation on Saturday, surrounded by a legal case against him replete with ambiguities.

The Iranian judiciary decided to execute the young athlete while his family and attorney were on the verge of negotiating with the victim's family for a pardon.

Responding to widespread protests and criticism, the provincial judiciary in Fars released a statement defending the decision, with many legal experts stating afterward that the letter only added to the case's ambiguities.