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We Must Ban Iran from the Olympics

On Saturday, Sept. 12, Iranian authorities announced that 27-year-old wrestler Navid Afkari had been executed.

Although officials claimed that he had been hanged, BBC Persia reported that the wrestling champion’s family was only permitted to see his face and that his nose was broken, raising suspicions that he had been tortured to death.

Afkari’s sham trial and execution are a stark reminder that Iran’s abuse of its own citizens extends to all segments of Iranian society — even to its athletic community. Whereas other countries view their sportsmen and women as the embodiment of national values and ideals, Iran’s maltreatment of its athletes represents a distillation of the very worst elements of life under the ayatollahs.

Iran’s abuses against its own athletes represent clear violations of basic human rights. They also contravene the Olympic Charter, the set of rules and principles to which every country that participates in the world’s largest sports event must commit. Iran’s outrageous conduct puts it squarely at odds with both the letter and the spirit of the rules governing the Olympic movement. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you end this reign of terror. Iran must be held accountable for their terrible actions.”