An Iranian soccer star is in danger of being executed for protesting against the country's theocracy, IranWire reported.
Amir Nasr-Azadani, 26, was arrested in November for demonstrating after a Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC) colonel and two members of the paramilitary Basij force were killed, according to Iran Wire.
Accused of "waging war against God," Nasr-Azadani is the most prominent Iranian athlete in danger of being executed.
Protests have escalated in Iran since September, when 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini died in the custody of the country’s “morality police” who enforce strict dress codes. The Iranian government has said she suffered a heart attack, despite reported obvious injuries.
Iranian officials last week announced the execution of a prisoner convicted for a crime allegedly committed during the country's ongoing nationwide protests, the first such death penalty carried out by Tehran.
A second prisoner was executed on Monday, when he was publicly hanged from a construction crane as a gruesome warning to others.
The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO) said it was "shocked and sickened" by Nasr-Azadani’s punishment.
"FIFPRO is shocked and sickened by reports that professional footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani faces execution in Iran after campaigning for women’s rights and basic freedom in his country," the union tweeted Monday.
"We stand in solidarity with Amir and call for the immediate removal of his punishment."
Nasr-Azadani has played in Iran's Premier League.
IranWire reported that three suspects forced to confess to the killings of the military members said Nasr-Azadani participated in protests but was never present in the area where the security forces were killed.
Iran’s chief justice of Isfahan Province on Sunday claimed Nasr-Azadani was a member of an armed group.
A friend of Saeid Ezatolahi, a member of Iran’s World Cup team, was shot and killed earlier this month while celebrating Iran’s loss to the U.S. in the group stage of the World Cup, according to the New York Post.
IranWire reported on Iranian sports figures who have been "killed, imprisoned or under pressure from the authorities, and those who are in danger of being executed."
"Their problems occurred after they participated in rallies against the clerical regime, voiced support for the protesters or criticized the authorities’ clampdown; or they were simply at the wrong place and the wrong time," IranWire noted.
The report said a soccer player, a volleyball player and a bodybuilder have been killed by Iran’s security forces.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.