Toronto Protesters slam Islamic Republic’s Murder of Navid Afkari

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on September 16, 2020

On September 14 in Toronto, hundreds of people gathered in Mel Lastman square to protest the murder of popular Iranian wrestler, Navid Afkari, at the hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Navid Afkari was executed on charges of murder that were confessed to under torture of Navid and his family members. In reality his real “crime” was protesting for freedom during the massive protests in Iran that got shutdown by Covid-19.

The protestors in Toronto gathered to show solidarity with Navid Afkari’s family and call for an end to the government of the Islamic Republic. 

The protestors had a few other very practical demands. They lobbied for the use of the Magnitsky Act to sanction bad actors. They wanted the Canadian government to follow through on its promise to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity and the release of political prisoners who are suffering for advocating for a free and democratic Iran.

Former political prisoner and one of the event organizers, Salman Sima, could be seen leading the crowd in a proud rendition of Oh, Canada.  Most of the event’s participants came from the Iranian-Canadian community, but many other groups and individuals showed up.  The organizers wanted to be very clear that they stand for Liberal democracies and countries that respect human rights like Canada and the US, and against human rights abusers like the Islamic Republic.

Ardeshir Zarezadeh, director of the International Centre for Human Rights (ICHR) said: 

We urge Canada to list The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization and use The Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Magnitsky Act) to sanction those responsible or involved for all these heinous crimes and human rights violations in Iran and apply Magnitsky sanctions on the human rights offenders in Iran.

The execution of Navid Afkari is yet another reason why Canada must impose Magnitsky sanctions on Iranian officials widely.

Speeches were also made by current MP Ali Ehsassi and former Ontario Education Minister Dr. Reza Moridi.

At the event one could see many flags of the “free Iran” with the lion on it, not the religious symbology of the Islamic Republic, as well as Canadian and American flags to illustrate the support of Western values, like freedom to protest, which was denied to Navid Afari at the hands of a brutal and murderous regime occupying Iran.   

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

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