International Olympic Committee "shocked" by news of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari's execution
IOC President Thomas Bach had sent "direct personal appeals" to Iranian leaders asking for mercy for national champion who had been sentenced to death
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has released a statement on Saturday (12th September).conveying "it's shocked" that Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari has been executed.
The national wrestling champion was executed in Iran, after being sentenced to death following accusations of murder during anti-government protests in the country in 2018.
The statement said IOC President Thomas Bach, "had made direct personal appeals to the Supreme Leader and to the President of Iran this week and asked for mercy for Navid Afkari".
Wrestling governing body United World Wrestling, the National Iranian Wrestling Federation, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and athlete groups had also made pleas to save Navid Afkari's life.
Full IOC Statement on the execution of wrestler Navid Afkari in Iran:
The execution of wrestler Navid Afkari in Iran is very sad news. The IOC is shocked by this announcement today. In letters, Thomas Bach, the IOC President, had made direct personal appeals to the Supreme Leader and to the President of Iran this week and asked for mercy for Navid Afkari while respecting the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is deeply upsetting that the pleas of athletes from around the world and all the behind the scene work of the IOC together with the NOC of Iran, United World Wrestling and the National Iranian Wrestling Federation did not achieve our goal. Our thoughts are with the family and the friends of Navid Afkari.