Amir Nasr-Azadani, a 26 year old Iranian soccer player has been sentenced to 26 years in jail after protesting for women’s rights and averting a death sentence due to public pressure.
The former Tractor player was arrested in November as anti-regime protests swept the country following the death of Mahsa Amini who died in police custody after she was arrested by the ‘morality police’ for ‘wearing her hijab improperly’.
Nasr-Azadani has since been found guilty of ‘partaking in enmity against God’ in relation to the killing of three security officers during demonstrations in Isfahan on 16 November.
He appeared to confess to the crime on television, but reports suggest his confession was coerced and he has denied guilt. It’s believed he was handed sentences totalling 26 years, but will serve 16 years.
In a clip obtained by CNN, a voice said to belong to Nasr-Azadani says: ‘Whoever you are in contact with, my friends, footballer friends, send this message to them, so they know what conditions I am under. ‘Hopefully, one day we can be together again. My hope is first of all with God and then the people outside. He adds: ‘I hope they continue to support me because all these harsh sentences that were issued to me I really do not deserve. I really do not deserve. Me? 26 years? Is it possible?’
Canadian Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville Taleeb Noorhamed twitted “This is not justice. As his political sponsor, I call on the regime to release Azadani. We will not rest until he is free”.