Almost two months have passed since footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani was arrested and allegedly sentenced to death for participating in protests for women’s rights and against the Taliban government. After several calls, requests from celebrities and the intervention of organizations in favor of human rights, the athlete has finally been released from capital punishment.
However, the footballer has been sentenced to 26 years in prison; 16 years for the crime of moharebeh or “enmity against God”, as well as two sentences of five years each for being a “member of an illegal group with the intent to disturb the security of the country” and “gathering and collusion leading to crimes against security”. In addition, he will have to do forced labor while in prison.
According to the Iranian agency Mizan, a Revolutionary Court in Isfahan was in charge of sentencing the soccer player to a total of 26 years in prison for being an accomplice to the death of three members of the Basich (a paramilitary force dependent on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard ) in the demonstrations in favor of women’s rights and against the Taliban government that took place in November 2022. The agency pointed out that Amir would face his prison sentences simultaneously based on the Punishment Consolidation Law, this means say that he would spend 16 years behind bars and not 26.
It is worth mentioning that the Isfahan Revolutionary Court has been questioned by organizations such as Amnesty International for making confessions under torture, speeding up judicial processes and denying detainees a fair trial in which they can present evidence of their innocence.
Amir participated in the protests against the Iranian regime after the execution of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was beaten and tortured by elements of the Moral Police, who accused her of not correctly using the hijab. After two days in a coma, the young woman died in a hospital. Her case aroused discontent and thousands of inhabitants took to the streets to protest against the regime.
The athlete is also known for his career on the court as part of teams such as Sepahan Sport Club of Isfahan, Tehran Rah-Ahan, Azadegan League, Tractor Sports Club and Iranjavan Bushehr. Despite his talent, his colleagues could do little or nothing for him, since the rules imposed by the Iranian government are extremely severe.