UFC President Dana White shared a video on social media where he is asking the Government officials in Iran to not execute Navid Afkari. According to FOX News the prominent wrestler is sentenced to death for participating in 2018 protests against the regime.
“This week the New York Times wrote a story about a very famous wrestler from Iran – his name is Navid Afkari,” Dana White says in the video. “He went to a peaceful protest in Iran, and he is gonna be executed for that.”
“It was brought to my attention. This guys is – first of all he is human being. Number two he is one of us, could be any of my fighters.”
“The only I thing I thought to do is to call the President [Donald Trump] and see if he could help this man. He said ‘let us look into it, we’ll talk to my administration and see if there is something we can do to save his life’.”
“So today the President tweeted (see below). And I would just like to say that I too respectively and humbly ask the government officials in Iran to please not execute this man and spare his life.”
President Trump posted on Twitter the following:
“Hearing that Iran is looking to execute a great and popular wrestling star, 27-year-old Navid Afkarai, whose sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets. They were protesting the ‘country’s worsening economic situation and inflation’…”
“To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you would spare this young man’s life, and not execute him. Thank you!”
27-year-old Navid Afkari was handed two death sentences over the murder of a security guard during protests in Shiraz, a city in south-central Iran. According to BBC there are concerns his confession was extracted under torture.
According to human rights activists in Iran, Navid Afkari’s brothers – Vahid and Habib – were sentenced to 54 and 27 years (respectively) in prison in the same case.