Sister of executed Iranian wrestler arrested and recognized by state information as ‘agent’


Iranian officers stated they’ve recognized the “Iran International agent” arrested Thursday as Elham Afkari, the sister of well-known Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari, who was executed two years in the past, in keeping with state information company IRNA.

London-based information channel Iran Worldwide has turn out to be one of many go-to sources for a lot of Iranians on the lookout for information on the nation’s ongoing protests within the nation.

The opposition tv broadcaster, which was known as a “terrorist” group by the Iranian intelligence minister on Tuesday, has denied any affiliation with Elham.

In an announcement despatched to CNN, the London-based broadcaster stated Elham “is not an employee of Iran International, nor is she an associate or agent of the company.”

Her brother, Navid Afkari, was convicted of killing Hassan Torkman, a water firm safety worker, throughout a protest in Shiraz in 2018.

Initially, Afkari confessed to the crime, however in court docket he retracted these phrases, arguing that he had been tortured into making a false confession.

“It should be noted that she [Elham Afkari] is the sister of Navid Afkari, the killer of martyr Torkman, an employee of the regional water company of Fars province,” IRNA reported.

“Intelligence operatives have been monitoring the activities of Elham Afkari for the past few years,” IRNA stated, including that “she was one of the main leaders in organizing recent riots.”

State media shared photos allegedly displaying Elham’s arrest. The images present a girl seated within the backseat of a car with barred home windows, with a black blindfold over her face.

Saeed Afkari, Elham and Navid’s brother, confirmed his sister’s arrest on Twitter on Thursday, saying that Elham’s three-year-old daughter was additionally lacking.

He later stated Elham had been taken to a division of Iran’s intelligence ministry, and that his sister’s partner and daughter had been launched.

“Elham was taken to No.100 intelligence ministry department,” he tweeted.

Since Navid Afkari was executed, his household has confronted many court docket circumstances over involvement within the demonstrations in 2018.

Vahid Afkari, considered one of his brothers, stays in solitary confinement, in keeping with the rights group Iran Human Rights.

Based in 2017, Iran Worldwide has been on the forefront of masking current demonstrations following the demise in custody of Mahsa Amini – a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian girl detained by morality police for allegedly not carrying her hijab correctly.

Nonetheless, the 24-hour information channel’s protection of the demonstrations has introduced it beneath the scrutiny of the Iranian authorities.

This week, Iran Worldwide stated two of its British-Iranian journalists working in the UK have been warned by police of a “credible” plot by Iran to kill them.

In an announcement Monday, the Farsi-language broadcaster stated it was “shocked and deeply concerned” by the alleged deadly threats, whereas accusing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of being a part of a “significant and dangerous escalation” of Tehran’s “campaign to intimidate Iranian journalists working abroad.”

“Two of our British-Iranian journalists have, in recent days, been notified of an increase in the threats to them,” Iran Worldwide stated within the assertion.

“The Metropolitan Police have now formally notified both journalists that these threats represent an imminent, credible and significant risk to their lives and those of their families.”

Iran Worldwide didn’t identify the journalists for safety causes.

The Committee to Defend Journalists stated that as of Monday at the very least 61 journalists have been arrested in Iran for causes together with masking the protests, reporting on the demise of protesters, and taking photographs of demonstrations, in keeping with a report from the group.