An Iranian soccer player has reportedly been sentenced to death by hanging after participating in protests following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
According to Euro News, protests erupted in Iran after Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died in the custody of Iranian police on September 16th. The outlet claims Amini’s family reports the woman was viciously beaten and had her head struck several times.
However, the Iranian government denies these accusations and claims she died from an “underlying disease.”
Iran Wire reports that soccer player Amir Nasr-Azadani, who played for Iran’s Tractor S.C. from 2015 until 2019, has been sentenced to death by hanging after his arrest was initially reported on November 24th.
The outlet notes he was arrested alongside Saleh Mirhashmi and Saeed Yaghoubi for the death of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Colonel Esmaeil Cheraghi, Mohammed Hossein Karimi, and Mohsen Hamidi.
However, while Iran Wire claims that Nasr-Azadani did indeed participate in protests, he was not present in the area where Cheraghi, Karimi, and Hamidi were killed.
A source informed the outlet “that his presence in the protests was short and limited to chanting slogans for a few hours.”
Nasr-Azadani’s family are also reportedly being threatened by Iranian security forces with one of his relatives telling the outlet if they disclosed news of his arrest Nasr-Azadani would face the most severe sentence possible.
As far as his sentence, another source informed the outlet it was only issued to cause fear.
The source detailed, “After the court was convened and when his family was informed of the charges against him, the lawyer appointed by the judicial system informed them that the verdict was only to cause fear, but if the family members reacted and spoke to foreign media, the death sentence would become final.”
The global union for professional football players, FIFPRO called for Iran to say his execution.
They posted on Twitter, “FIFPRO is shocked and sickened by reports that professional footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani faces execution in Iran after campaigning for women’s rights and basic freedom in his country. We stand in solidarity with Amir and call for the immediate removal of his punishment.”
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