In the past year, two devastating tragedies plagued Iranian sports: the first was the heart-wrenching death of Sahar Khodayari, a young woman, who set herself on fire after being sentenced to prison for trying to enter a soccer stadium. As you may know, women in Iran are barred from entering stadiums.
The other was the execution of the 27-year-old Navid Afkari, a Greco-Roman wrestling champion who dreamed of becoming an Olympic champion one day. He was arrested, tortured and executed by the Iranian government for taking part in street protests.
We, the signatories of this letter, demand the suspension of Islamic Republic from all international sports because of the regime’s inhumane behavior which includes detention and execution of athletes and discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, gender and political beliefs to exclude athletes from participating in national teams and international tournaments. We demand the suspension of Iranian sports, unless the Islamic Republic adheres to the Olympic Charter and Olympic values.
We also want to support Iranian athletes and allow them to participate in international competitions under the white flag.
We support the United For Navid campaign and call on the International Olympic Committee to suspend its participation in all international competitions until Iran commits itself to ending systematic discrimination.
Suspend Iran from International Sports