Navid Afkari Sangari, 27, was sentenced to two death sentences, six years and six months of prison, and 74 lashes for the murder of a security agent among other charges. Navid’s death sentence has been confirmed by the Supreme Court and his request for appeal was rejected. In an audio message from prison, the wrestling champion said that he was tortured in a detention center and was forced to confess to killing an agent. He later retracted the confession and implied that the regime was looking for an excuse to hang him.
In the audio file from prison, Navid said that he would “not not give in to oppression and lies”.
“When the solitary confinement and the tortures ended, and I set foot in the prison cell, I immediately wrote to different judiciary officials and filed a complaint,” he said.
“I cried out that I was not a killer and a criminal. I asked to be taken to a medical examiner. It was proven with their report, an eyewitness and evidence that I was tortured”.
“Despite writing continuously that I was forced to confess under torture and that there was not even one piece of evidence to prove my guilt in this damn case, they didn’t want to hear my voice.”
“I realized they just want a neck to throw their noose around,” Navid Afkari added.
He and his two brothers were also charged with playing active roles in the Kazerun and Shiraz protests in August 2018.
“Navid and Vahid Afkari were brutally tortured by the notorious Shiraz Intelligence Police to make forced confessions,” a source had told a human rights group.
Eyewitness accounts of the torture and beatings have been included in their dossier but were ignored in court. Navid Afkari detailed his torture in a letter from prison published by human rights groups.
“They pulled a plastic bag over my head and kept it there until I nearly suffocated. They brutally beat my hands, stomach, and feet with batons while using vulgar language and insults. They also tied me and poured alcohol into my nose,” he wrote.