Iran executes Navid Afkari despite global outcry

Iran has executed a wrestler accused of murder, state media report, defying international appeals for him to be spared.

Navid Afkari, 27, was sentenced to death over the murder of a security guard during a wave of anti-government protests in 2018.

He said he had been tortured into making a confession.

A union representing 85,000 athletes worldwide was among those to call for a stay of execution.

The World Players Association said he had been “unjustly targeted” for taking part in the protests, and called for Iran’s expulsion from world sport if it went ahead with the execution.

US President Donald Trump also appealed for mercy, saying the wrestler’s “sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets”.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called his execution “very sad news” and said their thoughts were with his family and friends.