Europe

Iranian footballer begs for help after being jailed for 26 years in 'sham' trial

An Iranian footballer sentenced to 26 years in jail after protesting for women’s rights has pleaded for help in an audio message from his jail cell.

Amir Nasr-Azadani, 26, says he wants his supporters to ‘know what conditions I am under’, asking: ‘Me? 26 years? Is it possible?’

He goes on to tell supporters he hopes they will continue to speak for him and ‘one day we can be together again’.

The former Tractor player was arrested in November as anti-regime protests swept the country following the death of Mahsa Amini.

The 22-year-old died in police custody after she was arrested by the ‘morality police’ for ‘wearing her hijab improperly’.

Nasr-Azadani has since been found guilty of ‘partaking in enmity against God’ in relation to the killing of three security officers during demonstrations in Isfahan on 16 November.

He appeared to confess to the crime on television, but reports suggest his confession was coerced and he has denied guilt.

It’s believed he was handed sentences totalling 26 years, but will serve 16 years.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has described his execution as a ‘callous and cowardly act, carried out by a barbaric regime’.

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