How Did the US Media Make Iran's Execution of a Champion Wrestler About Donald Trump?

Published September 13th, 2020 - 06:08 GMT
How Did the US Media Make Iran's Execution of a Champion Wrestler About Donald Trump?
The link between Trump's tweet in defense of Afkari last week and his execution yesterday angered many Iranian activists. (Al Bawaba)

Despite international outcry, Iranian authorities had announced executing the national wrestling champion Navid Afkari yesterday, igniting even more anger worldwide.

Turning deaf ears to months-long campaigns by Iranian activists and sports figures calling on the Iranian government to stop any plans to actually carry out the death penalty against the 27-years old Iranian wrestler, the Iranian official TV aired what they said was Afkari's confessions of killing an individual using a knife during anti-regime protests in August 2018, only days before announcing his death and handing his body back to his family.

According to international organizations, Afkari's confessions were forced on him and were recorded so the Iranian government justifies its death penalty.

Moreover, the televised confession followed a tweet by the US President Donald Trump, in which he called on Iran to reconsider the death penalty against the champion, which inspired US media outlets to argue that the Iranian decision to execute Navid Afkari was a response to Trump's calls.

The link between Trump's tweet in defense of the medal-winning champion last week and his execution yesterday angered many Iranian activists; who said that "no statement by anyone in the world would have stopped the Iranian government from getting rid of dissents and people demanding human rights in the country."

Some also called on international media to stop making the event about Trump's tweet and actually shed light on the human rights violations committed by Iran against its population instead.


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