One more well-known Iranian athlete, Mehdi Ali Hosseini, a wrestler, was executed by the Iranian authorities on Monday. This follows the execution of Navid Afkari, another wrestler, last September.
According to a thorough report compiled by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the mullahs do not recognize just how important these and many more athletes who have been arrested and executed are to ordinary people in Iran.
“Mehdi Ali Hosseini, 29, is expected to be executed imminently as the victim’s family has refused to pardon him Navid…” https://t.co/je8rSMNt7V Navid Afkari was executed after Tehran claimed he had murdered a water department worker during nationwide protests in 2018 #MEK #Iran pic.twitter.com/YTmOSqapYw
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) January 12, 2021
Mullahs regime thinks that executing them intimidates potential activists and protesters like the supporters of the (PMOI / MEK Iran) and resistance forces like MEK Units across Iran, who challenge the legitimacy of the regime. In fact, all it does is cement its image as a vile and corrupt entity.
These executions are certainly nothing new. Other athletes who have been accused of being members or supporters of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), have been arrested and executed over the years. Back in1981, one of the first athletes to be executed was Houshang Montazer-ol Zohour, a national heavyweight wrestling champion. Habib Khabiri was also executed in 1981. He was Iran’s national soccer team captain.
A letter by the International Olympic Committee signed by 48 Iranian national athletes and heroes, said: “Execution of Athletes, Champions and Olympians in Iran by the ruling regime is not new. Many Athletes have been executed to date only because they had responded to the voices of their conscience and their Athletic duties when it comes to the oppression of people by the regime. The regime in Iran cannot tolerate popular figures in Iran.”
Many athletes were part of the 30,000 Iranians executed in 1988 for their support or membership of the MEK. The perpetrators of this massacre have never faced justice, yet some now occupy important positions within the ruling theocratic regime.
One of those perpetrators of the 1988 massacre was Ebrahim Raisi, now Iran’s Judiciary Chief, This helps to explain why the executions of athletes like Hosseini and Afkari continue today.
The evidence is now undeniable that the Iranian regime uses torture and executions to intimidate the Iranian people and dissuade anyone from criticizing it, even though the regime faces massive criticism for its failures with the Covid-19 pandemic and the economy. The coronavirus has taken the lives of over 208,700 people throughout Iran, according to the Iranian opposition (PMOI / MEK Iran) and (NCRI).
Unfortunately, because the international community fails to make the regime accountable for its part in international terrorist attacks and crimes against humanity within its own borders, it continues its human rights abuses with impunity.
A letter was compiled late last year by human rights experts at the United Nations, asking the regime to mount an investigation into the 1988 massacre, calling it a massive human rights abuse. It “had a devastating impact on the survivors and families as well as on the general situation of human rights in Iran and emboldened Iran to continue to conceal the fate of the victims and to maintain a strategy of deflection and denial that continue to date,” according to the signatories to the letter.
The regime in Iran continues to act as if it has no-one to call it to account. The 1,500 protesters who were killed by regime forces in November 2019 are another reminder that this regime will stop at nothing to silence its critics and a signal that the regime will keep murdering its own people while foreign governments look the other way.
The Magnitsky Act was adopted by the EU recently. This legislation allows the EU to impose sanctions on anyone who commits crimes against humanity. The Iranian opposition has called o the E.U. to put its money where its mouth is and use the Magnitsky Act to impose sanctions on the Iranian regime.
The abridged version of an article written by Mansoureh Galestan for the NCRI.