The British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) is shocked by the news of the hanging of Iranian wrestler and political prisoner Navid Afkari this morning despite a global campaign urging Iranian authorities to halt his execution.

We strongly condemn this execution. His ‘crime’ was to support popular protest against the regime.

Amnesty International launched an urgent appeal to save Mr Afkari’s life on Friday, 11 September, noting that he and his two brothers “are the latest victims of Iran’s deeply flawed criminal justice system and their case is further evidence that Iranian courts systematically rely on ‘confessions’ obtained under torture and other ill-treatment to secure criminal convictions, in contravention of international law.”

The hanging of Navid Afkari is just another sad reminder of the International Community failing the Iranian people, who are the true victims of the regime. The UK Government and others must now make it their business to call out the regime for its breaches of the Rule of Law in Navid Afkari’s case.

After their meeting on September 10, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and his E3 counterparts reaffirmed their commitment to hold Iran to account.

Now is the time for the UK Government to show this commitment by taking immediate steps with the E3. What has happened is a crime, a flouting of international law.

The BCFIF calls on the UK Government to work with our allies at the UN to secure and establish an independent, international inquiry into this and other abuses of human rights.

The British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF) also supports a recent call by the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mrs Maryam Rajavi, requesting the UN Security Council send an international delegation accompanied by representatives of the NCRI to Iran to visit the prisons and meet prisoners, particularly those arrested during the November 2019 uprising.

Lord Carlile of Berriew QC CBE

Co-Chairman of the British Committee for Iran Freedom

12 September 2020