Iranian football star Voria Ghafouri arrested for criticizing government


Iran on Thursday arrested a prominent former member of its national football team as authorities criticized the government. nationwide protest It casts a shadow over the competition in the World Cup.

Fars and Tasnim semi-official news agencies reported that Voria Ghafouri had been arrested for “insulting the national football team and propaganda against the government”.

Ghafuri, who was not selected for the World Cup, has been an outspoken critic of Iranian authorities throughout his career. and has crushed Western sanctions.

Voria Gafori
Esteghlal’s Voria Gafori watches the Persian Gulf Pro League match between Esteghlal and Padide FC at Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran on June 21, 2021.

Mohammad Kalamali/Defodi Images/Getty Images

Most recently he expressed sympathy for his family deceased 22-year-old woman The recent protests sparked while in Iran’s moral police custody. Most recently, he also called for an end to the violent crackdown on protests in Iran’s western Kurdistan region.

Reports of his arrest came ahead of Friday’s World Cup match between Iran and Wales. refused to sing along In tune with their national anthem, some fans voiced their support for the protest.

Holly Douglas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told CBS News this week that the team had lost support among its compatriots in a meeting with hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

While the team remained silent during the national anthem, Douglas said, “While it may seem very important, many Iranians are already disappointed with the team’s actions over the past week. he said.

In addition to meeting with Raisi, Dougles said that “protesters were being killed in the streets by security forces”, and that the photos showing players celebrating their participation in the World Cup have prompted many Iranians to abandon their team. “Clerical establishments, not their representatives.”

Protests were sparked by the death of a Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by moral police in the capital Tehran on September 16.they escalate rapidly Participated in nationwide demonstrations calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. The western Kurdistan region of the country, where Amini and his Ghafouri are from, has been the epicenter of the protests. Shops in the area were closed on Thursday following calls for a general strike.

Iranian officials have not clarified whether Ghafouri’s activities were a factor in his not being selected for the national team. The club’s president, Hamidreza Garshasbi, resigned late Thursday, his semi-official ILNA news agency reported, without giving details.

The protests show no signs of abating and have been one of the biggest challenges for Iran’s ruling cleric since he came to power in the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Rights groups said security forces fired live ammunition and bird shots at demonstrators, beat them and arrested them, much of the violence captured on video.Iran last week sentenced a person to death for participating in the protest.

At least 442 protesters have been killed and more than 18,000 detained since the riots began, according to Iranian human rights activists, a group that has been monitoring the protests.

The United Nations Human Rights Council voted Thursday to condemn the crackdown and create an independent fact-finding mission to investigate alleged abuses, particularly against women and children.

Authorities have blamed the unrest, without providing evidence, on hostile foreign forces, saying separatists and other armed groups attacked security forces. It said at least 57 security personnel were killed, although state media reported many more casualties.

Protesters say they are fed up with decades of social and political repression, including imposing strict dress codes on women. Young women have taken leading roles in protests, stripping off the mandatory Muslim headscarves to express their rejection of clerical rule.

Some Iranians actively support their teams at the World Cup and associate them with rulers they see as violent and corrupt. Others argue that the national team, which includes players who have spoken out on social media in solidarity with the protests, represent the people.

The team’s star forward, Sardar Azmon, who has been vocal about the protests online, was on the bench in the opener. In addition to Ghafouri, two other former football stars have been arrested for expressing support for his protest.

Other Iranian athletes have also been caught in the struggle.

Iranian rock climber Ernaz Rekabi entered without A mandatory headscarf at an international convention in South Korea in October was widely seen as a sign of support for the protests. Despite saying in an interview that the move was “unintentional”, returning to Iran received a heroic welcome from protesters.

Earlier this month, Iran’s football federation threatened to punish the players of its beach soccer team after beating Brazil in an international tournament in Dubai. I was celebrating by imitating other people.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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