World Iranian-Kurdish footballer arrested on charges of incitement against the regime
Iranian Official Brags About Women's Rights After Supporting Executions
Zohreh Elahian urged the U.N. to "come see for themselves" the progress Iranian women have made in recent years. © ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images Iranian women Parliamentarians attend a parliament session in Tehran on October 4, 2022. The parliament recently read a statement in which most members supported harsh punishments for protestors. Protests have spanned Iran in the last two months after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who was arrested by Iran's morality police and accused of improperly wearing a hijab, or headscarf.
An Iranian-Kurdish footballer has been arrested on charges of “incitement against the regime” as Tehranon , according to state-aligned news agency Tasim.
Voria Ghafouri, who plays as a defender for the Khuzestan Foolad soccer team, was also arrested on charges of “dishonorable and insulting comportment towards Iran’s national soccer team.”
“Ghafouri had some harsh reactions in support of the recent rioters and was inciting them,” state affiliated Fars News Agency reported.
Voria Ghafouri (right), pictured in January 2015, was arrested on charges of "dishonorable and insulting comportment towards Iran's national soccer team." - Brandon Malone/Reuters
The Truth About an Alarming Rumor of Mass Executions in Iran—and What’s Really Happening Now
The government may not be able to afford to execute protestors.The prime minister deleted that tweet after many fact checkers flagged it as false. But what is happening in Iran now? Information right now is scarce because access to the internet in Iran has been severely restricted, and the government has actively spread false stories. But human rights lawyer Hossein Raeesi, who practiced law in Iran for two decades before he fled, has been able to keep a close eye on the events as they unfold through secret communications with people on the ground, some of whom have been arrested for protesting.
London-based opposition news outlet Iran International said the star footballer was fired in June from his previous team, Esteghlal FC, for criticizing the government in May when he rebuked it for “its handling of protests sparked by a sudden rise in prices.”
Iranian authorities criticized Ghafouri in relation to the protests earlier in the year, sparked by a spike in food prices after the government cut state subsidies causing costs to shoot up by 300% in some cases.
Iran has since been swept by national anti-regime demonstrations set off by the death ofin September, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who was detained by the country’s morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab properly.
The demonstrations have shed light on longstanding grievances held by the country’s, whom security forces have targeted in their brutal campaign clamping down on dissent in Iran.
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Ghafouri is from Sanandaj, Iran’s second largest Kurdish city, according to the Norway-based Hengaw Organization for Human Rights.
Ghafouri, pictured in June 2021, is part of Iran's Kurdish minority community, which the government has targeted in its clampdown on anti-regime dissent. - Mohammad Karamali/DeFodi Images/Getty Images
Ghafouri joins a slew of Iranian athletes who have spoken out in support of the national uprising.
Iran’s former national team goalkeeper, Parviz Boroumand, was arrested last week for destroying public property in Tehran during a protest on November 15, according to Tasnim.
Boroumand, 47, played for Persepolis FC and Esteghlal FC before retiring in 2007 to focus on social activism and humanitarian work. He was outspoken in his support of protesters in Iran on his social media channels before his arrest.
Former Iranian footballer Ali Karimi posted his support for Ghafouri and Boroumand after their arrests. “For the honorable Ghafouri,” Karimi tweeted Thursday along with a picture of Ghafouri dressed in Kurdish garb.
Iran’s regime struggles with fear of losing a generation to protests -analysis
So how does Iran suggest putting the genie of protests back in the bottle? Iran's former education minister doesn’t have a lot of good answers but his few insights are worth looking at. He notes that “teenagers born in the 80s have many differences with their previous generations in terms of needs and even lifestyle.”Indeed, those born in the generation prior to the 80s were involved in the Revolution of 1979. Those born in the 80s have lived their whole life under theocracy and are now in their 40s were never able to confront the regime.
Karimi, who now lives outside of Iran, has been subject to intense scrutiny from the Iranian government for vocalizing his support for protesters since late September.
In November, archerdemonstrated her support for anti-government protests by removing her hijab during an awards ceremony in Tehran. Iranian climber competed in South Korea without her mandatory hijab on in the month prior, later saying it had fallen off accidentally. However, it was unclear whether Rekabi’s comments were made under duress.
Jomana Karadsheh and Celine Alkhaldi contributed to this report.
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Iranian protesters celebrate World Cup defeat, as fears surround players' return .
Iran's World Cup defeat to the United States was met by cheers and celebrations in Tehran and other Iranian cities on Tuesday evening, as protesters hailed the country's exit from the tournament as a blow to the ruling regime. Your browser does not support this video The nation was eliminated from the tournament in Qatar after its 1-0 loss on Tuesday, ending a campaign that has been overshadowed by anti-government protests that have raged for months at home.