Saeed Afkari, the outspoken brother to executed wrestling champion Navid Afkari, was beaten and arrested by security forces in Shiraz on the 1st anniversary of Navid’s execution.
His sister, Elham, was also beaten.
They were heading to visit Vahid and Habib in Shiraz’s Adel Abad prison.
Saeed Afkari’s Twitter account was deleted after his arrest. He used Twitter as a platform against the Iranian regime and to shed light on the plight of his two other detained brothers, Vahid and Habib.
In a recent tweet Saeed Afkari had said Iran’s security forces were pressuring the Afkari family to not hold a ceremony marking the first anniversary of his brother’s execution.
“Security agencies are threatening us against holding Navid’s anniversary ceremony. We have been standing under your brutal repression for 3 years. We will continue to stand, despite our grief,” he said.
In the past Saeed Afkari was constantly stopped and interrogated at Shiraz airport for an hour or so. He started using busses when regime authorities increased their harassments.
Navid Afkari and Vahid Afkari were arrested in September 2018, while Habib Afkari was arrested in December 2018 in connection with Iran’s August 2018 nationwide protests. The brothers have been repeatedly beaten and tortured during interrogations.
After being tried by Shiraz’s Revolutionary Court, despite the lack of evidence, Navid Afkari was sentenced to two death sentences, six years and six months imprisonment, and 74 lashes for supposedly killing a security agent.
Vahid Afkari was sentenced to 33 years and nine months’ imprisonment and 74 lashes and Habib Afkari to 15 years and eight months’ imprisonment and 74 lashes in multiple grossly unfair trials.
The brothers repeatedly maintained their innocence in court and in written complaints and said they had been tortured to “confess”.
Despite the serious flaws in the case against the brothers, and despite international support for wrestling champion Navid Afkari and calls for authorities to halt the execution, he was executed at dawn in Adelabad Prison on September 12, 2020.
That same month, Vahid and Habib Afkari were transferred to the “Ebrat” isolated ward, a detention center for prisoners who are deprived of telephone calls.
Previously, Saeid Afkari, Vahid’s brother, had tweeted that he had met with Habib and Vahid Afkari and that they were being held “in solitary confinement, without the right of contact and the right to medical treatment”.
According to a June 7 report by Amnesty International, the two brothers “have been subjected to renewed torture and other ill-treatment in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.
Since September 2020, they have been held in windowless solitary confinement cells and denied access to adequate healthcare, fresh air, telephone calls, and face-to-face family visits.
Authorities arbitrarily arrested them in 2018 after their participation in protests, forcibly disappeared them, and repeatedly tortured them for months. They were sentenced to lengthy imprisonment after grossly unfair trials.”
In August 2021, the Iranian regime’s Supreme court rejected a retrial requested by Vahid Afkari.
The lawyer of the Afkari brothers, Saeid Dehghan, tweeted on August 23 that despite the contradictions in the case, the 38th branch of the Supreme Court rejected their requested retrial.
“Even if they had just skimmed through the case document, there were enough legal reasons to accept a retrial as the verdict contains 24 contradictions and 3 lies,” Dehghan tweeted.