The lawyer of Navid Afkari, an Iranian protester sentenced to double executions, said that the evidence brought forth by the regime against his client was faulty. This came after a news agency affiliated with Iran’s Judiciary wrote an incriminating report about the 27-year-old wrestling champion.
Mizan News Agency wrote that Navid Afkari had killed “an employee of the Shiraz Water and Sewage Organization” in southwestern Iran. The report cited a security camera video and his confessions under torture as the main evidence against Afkari.
In an interview with the state-run ILNA News Agency, Navid’s lawyer Hossein Younesi, said that the Mizan report “did not state the exact legal aspects” of the case.
“It is claimed that there is a video that shows the murder by the defendants. Such a video does not exist and no such video was put forth as evidence in court,” he added.
Younesi said that the only CCTV video that was used as evidence was filmed one hour before the murder and showed that one of the defendants was at the scene.
“Of course, the defendants do not deny their presence and said from the very beginning that they were there for cellphone repairs,” Navid Afkari’s lawyer said.
Younesi also cited the so-called testimonies of Navid Afkari and said that they were made under torture.
“We presented evidence that his confessions were made under pressure to the Supreme Court, but they were not accepted,” he added.
The lawyer said that he hoped his clients’ request for retrials would be accepted.
Social media reports: assassinated agent was killed by regime
Hassan Torkeman, the “employee” killed by Navid Afkari according to Mizan was dubbed as a “security agent” by Iranian media at the time of his death in the summer of 2018.
Social media reports at the time said that Torkeman was killed by agents according to a source in the IRGC Shiraz Intelligence Department.
“On Thursday evening (August 2, 2018), Hassan Torkeman, a member of the Protection Agency of the Shiraz Water organization and a former IRGC and intelligence agent, was stabbed to death by two unknown individuals on his way home. A source in the Shiraz IRGC says that the murder case of Hassan Torkeman has been classified. According to this source, Hassan Turkman protested the beating of a young girl on Thursday during the suppression of the protests and argued with an intelligence officer. Mr. Torkeman said he was not willing to attack the people who had taken to the streets out of hunger,” Ava Today wrote two years ago.
“Eyewitnesses told the intelligence officers that the two masked assailants, riding a motorcycle that fit the description of motorcycles used by security forces and special forces, killed Hassan Torkeman with a knife, and left the scene very calmly. It was clear that the assailants knew the exact address of Hassan Torkeman’s residence, and that the murder was very professional.”
The details of Hassan Torkeman’s assassination were not reported by Iranian media at the time and the Monafeghin (MEK), monarchists, Saudi Arabia, and Israel were vaguely accused of the murder.
Iran News Wire cannot verify the social media reports.
Navid Afkari was sentenced to two executions, prison, and lashes while two of his brothers were sentenced to overall 81 years of prison and lashes over protests in 2018. Navid, Vahid, and Habib Afkari Sangari were detained for their participation in nationwide protests in August 2018.
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. His 35-year-old brother Vahid was sentenced to 54 years and six months of prison and 74 lashes, for complicity in murder among other charges while the third brother, 29-year-old Habib, was sentenced to 27 years and three months of prison, and 74 lashes. Another protester who was charged in the case, 22-year-old Saied Dashtaki, was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison, and 74 lashes.
Navid’s death sentence has been confirmed by the Supreme Court and his request for appeal was rejected.
Navid (Farshid) Afkari Sangari, is single, and a plasterer. He is also a wrestler and has won several national championship medals. Vahid Afkari Sangari is also single and works as a plasterer. Habib is married and works as a welder.
Iran uses political executions to prevent future protests
The Iranian regime executes political prisoners and protesters to intimidate would be protesters and prevent future protests.
On August 5, the Iranian regime hanged a political prisoner in central Iran. Mostafa Salehi was detained during protests in Isfahan two years ago. The 30-year-old father of two was charged with killing a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps during protests. Mostafa Salehi maintained his innocence until his execution and was tortured to make false confessions. No weapons, ammunition, or other evidence were found. He pleaded not guilty in court.
Three other protesters in Tehran and five protesters in Isfahan have also been sentenced to death.