Political prisoner Navid Afkari acknowledged the national and international support against his death sentence in his last known audio message from prison before his execution.
“I’m happy today because I’ve now learned the true aspirations of humanity from you, extraordinary people. Aspirations that are much greater and more valuable than international wrestling championships,” Navid Afkari was heard saying in the message.
The 27-year-old wrestling champion was secretly executed yesterday at dawn in Shiraz’s Adel Abad Prison in southwestern Iran. He was buried under severe security measures in Sangar Village, southwestern Iran.
“I was nearing 25 years of age when I was forced to put aside my wrestling to help my family with their livelihood conditions. I learned while growing up in my family to put my mother’s honor and respect before all my dreams and personal ambitions. We were always taught to make sacrifices for our loved ones.
I went to work and after around 6 to 7 months of labor work, I was arrested in September 2018 and now I’m on death row. I want the whole world to know that since I was a child, I dreamt of making my mother happy by getting international wrestling championships. But the cycle of life, forced me put wrestling aside and brought tears to my mother’s eyes.
That same cycle of life has turned again, and I’ve now learned the true aspirations of humanity from you, the extraordinary people. Aspirations that are much greater and more valuable than international wrestling championships.
During the years that I wrestled, I never faced a cowardly opponent who played dirty. Because wrestling is an inherently honorable sport. But it’s been two years that my family and I have faced off against injustice which is the most cowardly and dishonorable opponent in human history. And undoubtedly, without your support and aid, we will all lose.”