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Source: IranWire

Nov 9, 2023

Iranian Athlete Who Backed Protests Faces Travel Ban, Asset Freeze

A former member of Iran’s Wushu national team says he has been banned from leaving the country as part of the punishments imposed by the authorities over his support of nationwide protests.

In a video posted on Instagram on November 9, martial art athlete Farshid Asadian says he is grappling with severe livelihood challenges after his assets were confiscated and his bank accounts were frozen.

Asadian decided to depart the national team in late September 2022 following the eruption of the anti-establishment protests.

In his farewell message, he criticized the brutal state crackdown on the protest movement in which more than 500 people were killed and over 20,000 were unlawfully detained.

Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters. Seven of them have been executed so far.

In mid-October, Asadian said security agencies were trying to force him to return to the national team.

Over the past few months, the International Olympic Committee has called on the Iranian government to lift pressures on athletes. 

Despite that, the National Olympic Committee, in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports and other government bodies, continues to pressure Iranian athletes on various grounds.

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