Iran sports

Almost three months have passed since the Iranian people’s protests began and the revolutionaries still insist on toppling one of the most ideological autocratic regimes of the century without exertion of violence٫ while finding it their absolute right to legitimately defend themselves. Iran Human Rights organization in its latest update, announced that 458 people were killed in the unrest of which 16 are children.

Many of the national and league athletes including coaches and sports pioneers also support and have joined the people’s protests to freedom. Unfortunately, Ali Mozafari, a member of the Saipa Ghouchan volleyball team and Mohammad Ghaemi Fard, the goalkeeper of Dezful soccer team are also among the dead.

Amir Nasr Azadani, a footballer of the Persian Gulf Pro League (formerly Iran Pro League), Mehdi Karami an Iranian karate champion and Sohail Jahangiri a member of the under 21 Isfahan wrestling team are all on the verge of being executed.

Forced confessions of the dissidents under duress including students, athletes, artists and few minute trials held without the right of having a lawyer are among the criminal approaches that the Islamic Republic has brutally used in taking the lives of thousands of people in the past 43 years.

On Wednesday December 7th, the Islamic Republic state television, broadcast a recording of the confessions of Mehdi Karami, the Iranian karate champion in which he appeared in prison uniform and spoke of involvement in a clash with a soldier from the oppressive security forces affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that led to his death.

Many of Iran’s human rights activists find Mehdi Karami’s trial similar to the hearing and confessions of Navid Afkari. Navid Afkari too, was forced to confess under severe tortures and executed, although he had reached out for support from human rights organizations for his pardon. The International Olympic Committee and the United World Wrestling Federation only sufficed to a statement and did not react to the execution of Navid Afkari.

Amir Nasr Azadani is a footballer of the Persian Gulf Pro league who plays for Tractor Sazi football team. He is also among Iranian athletes opposing the Iranian regime, who’s currently in prison and his life is in danger on charge of ‘Muharebeh’ (waging war against God and state, a term widely used by Iran’s Islamic judiciary). Ali Karimi, the former Iranian iconic footballer who also played for Bayern Munich has also asked in a tweet for Azadani’s release.

Sohail Jahangiri is another athlete in danger of execution on charge of Moharebeh. He was arrested while wounded on the feet by pellets. The human rights organizations have stressed that his family is under pressure and have warned that the life of Sohail Jahangiri is in danger.

The Football. Karate and Wrestling Federations of Iran Have Kept Silent

Hassan Tabatabaei, the head of the Iran Karate Federation and Shahram Heravi, the head coach of Iran’s Karate National team, both agents of Iranian intelligence service, have shown no reaction to the arrest of Mehdi Karami. The United States of America also had not issued visas for these two to attend the World Karate Games in the US and also Alireza Dabir the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Wrestling Federation to attend the World Wrestling Championships. Alireza Dabir is one of the most ideological presidents in the history of Iran’s wrestling who has always held an anti-American position. Up to this moment, he has not commented on Sohail Jahangiri’s arrest and the danger of his execution.

Mehdi Taj, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, also the president of Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran has also not reacted towards the release of Amir Nasr Azadani. Between the years 1980-1981 he was also present in the crackdown of the people of Kurdistan and accused of participating in the massacre of the Kurdish people.

Written by Farzad Youshanlou