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Iranian footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani receives a 16-year prison term as opposed to the death penalty

An Islamic Revolutionary Court in Iran has given football player Amir Nasr-Azadani a 16-year prison term.

The decision was reportedly made on January 9, 2023, following his alleged participation in the murders of three Basij officers—paramilitary volunteers associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard—and two other crimes committed during the ongoing anti-government protests that have shook the Persian nation since mid-September 2022.

According to a report from Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the director of the nongovernmental organisation Iran Human Rights, three additional people involved in the murder of the three Basij officers in the city of Isfahan in mid-November have been sentenced to death and another to two years in prison. This information comes from the judicial news agency Mizan via AS.

The Iranian foreign national has now been given a prison term of 16 years for his role in the murder of the three Basij officers, five for gathering with others to commit crimes, and five more for joining unlicensed organisations with the aim of endangering public safety.

Amir Nasr-Azdani was reportedly going to get the death punishment in December 2022, but after his case went viral last year and received widespread criticism—including from the international football players’ organisation [FIFPRO] and the media—the decision has since been reversed.

However, a report from AS states that he would serve the terms consecutively, which means he will, in theory, serve 16 years behind bars.

Following the murder of the Basij officers in Isfahan, Saleh Mirhashemi, Majid Kazemi Sheikh Shabani, and Saeed Yaqoubi have all reportedly been sentenced to death for “moharebe,” which roughly translates to “waging war against God,” in the same trial. They join 11 other individuals who, as things stand, will receive the death penalty.

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