Amir Nasr-Azadani: Team-mate of Iran footballer facing death penalty speaks out | Football News

A former team-mate of Iranian footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani, who faces the death penalty for collaborating in nationwide protests, has informed Sky News that his good friend is a “shy person” and “really kind”.

Speaking from Finland the place he now captains high flight facet VPS Vaasa, Sebastian Strandvall mentioned: “Amir was one of the young guys on our team at the time, he was 19-20 years old at the time, quite the shy person and really kind… a normal, good guy.”

Nasr-Azadani, 26, was arrested final month as anti-regime demonstrations sweep throughout Iran. He was convicted of murdering a policeman and two militia members in a trial that human rights teams have referred to as a sham.

Amir Nasr-Azadani

Local information studies counsel his confession was coerced with members of his household ordered to remain silent.

His former teammate says the courtroom ruling, which discovered Nasr-Azadani responsible of “waging war against God” was absurd. Execution is one of a quantity of potential penalties for this crime.

“Knowing Amir’s character, he would go to a protest… he and his friends, would stand up for basic rights, for women’s rights of course because he is the sort of the person who cares about others. But I don’t see him doing a war on God or anything,” Strandvall mentioned.

The two performed alongside each other at Rah-Ahan FC in Tehran in the course of the 2015-16 season, and Strandvall even provided him a spot to remain when the younger Iranian discovered himself with out lodging.

‘It feels so removed from actuality’

The Finnish participant says his good friend might have participated within the demonstrations however doesn’t consider he would commit a violent act.

“It is hard to describe the feeling, the shock, it is hard to fathom that it is actually him because it feels so far from reality, that someone might be facing the death sentence for participating in a peaceful protest,” he mentioned.

Amir and Sebastian training
Sebastian Strandvall (centre) and Amir Nasr-Azadani coaching

Amir Nasr-Azadani

Little is understood about Nasr-Azadani’s situation, however one German MP is campaigning to boost folks’s consciousness of his plight.

Andreas Larem, who took over the sponsorship for Nasr-Azadani on 15 December, informed Sky News he has written to the Iranian ambassador to Germany in Berlin and has requested the German Foreign Ministry for instant assist to get Nasr-Azadani launched.

“He should have still some hope, he should know that we stand with him, and that we really force on every side where we can to get him out, and his friends being also in the prison get out of that situation, and I would like to see him and to meet him in Germany.”

Protests are ‘nationwide phenomenon’

As the clerics who run Iran are challenged within the streets, their forces have grow to be growing violent as they search to protect the regime.

The protests in Iran, which occur each day, have entered their fourth consecutive month and present little signal of weakening. The majority might centre on the Kurdish area of Iran and the capital Tehran, however they’re a nationwide phenomenon.

Fuelled by a variety of grievances, together with the stifling restrictions positioned on ladies’s costume, contributors search the removing of the nation’s supreme chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, together with the ageing mullahs who assist him.

Amir Nasr-Azadani

In response, police models and the revolutionary guards (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) have lashed out at those that defy the state.

Demonstrators have been crushed and focused with shotguns – and in current days, the federal government has begun to execute protesters.

Trials are a ‘sham’

Last week, Majidreza Rahnavard, who was considered 23 years previous, was publicly hanged from the top of a development crane. Rahnavard was accused of “waging war on God” after allegedly stabbing two members of the pro-government militia to death.

Human rights teams and western governments referred to as the trial a sham.

According to Amnesty International, there are greater than two dozen protesters facing the death sentence.

As the police battle to include this youthful rise up, analysts accuse the regime of focusing on personalities, like footballers, actors and writers – anybody with the ability to affect others.

Actress Taraneh Alidoosti
Actress Taraneh Alidoosti

Iran’s most celebrated actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, was arrested last week after she condemned the state’s use of the death penalty in opposition to protesters.

The 38-year-old is greatest identified for her 2016 position within the Oscar-winning movie The Salesman.

Despite her worldwide profile, she has vowed to not depart Iran.

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