Nov. 8, 2020
The United For Navid campaign, made up of prominent Iranian activists and athletes, calls on the International Chess Federation President Arkady Dvorkovich to suspend Iranian Chess Federation if Iranian players are forced to default against Israeli players
“For years Iranian chess players have been forced to pull out of games against Israeli players rather than face punishment from the hardline Islamic regime,” Alinejad said. “In some recent cases, the whole delegation has have pulled out of tournaments entirely just to avoid Israeli players.”
Islamic Republic has politicized sports and rewards athletes for non-participation and for throwing matches to avoid Israeli athletes. Last year, the International Judo Federation suspended Islamic Republic for ordering an athlete to deliberately lose.
Islamic Republic’s boycott of Israeli athletes has painful consequences for top Iranian players. Chess prodigy Alireza Firouzja left the country in order to play under a different flag so he could pursue his dream.
The regime’s repressive policies also means that women are banned from attending sports stadiums, excluded from certain sports and must adhere to the strict compulsory hijab rules. A number of top women chess players have been forced to leave the country for not wearing compulsory hijab at international tournaments.
Women are banned from attending sporting events. Last year, Sahar Khodayari, a young woman who faced a court trial for attending a match dressed up as a man, doused herself with gasoline and set herself on fire.
Navid Afkari, a 27-year old national wrestling champion wrestler, was killed on September 12, 2020 by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Afkari was punished for taking part in demonstrations against economic hardships in the summer of 2018. He was tortured to obtain false confessions, unjustly convicted and hurriedly executed despite a global outcry from world leaders and sporting personalities.
The Islamic regime has shown that it responds only to credible international pressure. It must be made to understand that with such egregious breaches of human rights, they have no place in the civilized community of nations.