A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (14 September) on the execution of the death sentence imposed on Iranian athlete Navid Afkari:
We are deeply shocked by the fact that the death sentence against the athlete Navid Afkari was carried out last Saturday in Iran. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, who are joined by the international athletic community in mourning his death. The Federal Government most strongly condemns this execution, which was carried out despite international protests and requests that it be suspended. There were considerable doubts as to whether the trial was in keeping with the rule of law, and we take the accusations very seriously that Navid Afkari is said to have confessed only after he was subjected to torture. The German Government made repeated diplomatic efforts at the highest level in Tehran urging that the death sentence against Navid Afkari be suspended.
The German Government places utmost importance on the right to freedom of expression. Moreover, the German Government has a clear position on the death penalty, namely that it is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment that we reject in all circumstances. We demand that all persons being held in connection with the protests in Iran be given a trial in accordance with the rule of law, and that no more death penalties be imposed or executed.