Iranian ‘terrorist’ wins shooting gold as world Olympic body faces public backlash | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Iranian ‘terrorist’ wins shooting gold as world Olympic body faces public backlash

1 August, 2021

The International Olympic Committee is facing outcry after it allowed an alleged member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to compete and win gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Javad Foroughi secured the gold medal in the 10-meter air pistol, the first and only medal so far for Iran in Tokyo. In the days since, international critics, including some from Iran, have accused Foroughi, 41, of being a member of IRGC, a powerful ideological Iranian military branch that answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

An activist group called United for Navid called Foroughi’s gold medal a “catastrophe” and demanded an IOC investigation. The group is named for Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari, whom the state executed in 2020 after he participated in anti government protests.

Afkari was convicted of murdering a security guard during protests. His family and activists claim he was tortured into giving a false confession by a state that has reportedly coerced more than 350 false confessions in the past decade. “We consider the awarding of an Olympic gold medal to Iran marksman Javad Foroughi not only a catastrophe for Iranian sports but also for the international community, and especially the reputation of the IOC,” a United for Navid statement read.

“The 41-year old Foroughi is a current and longtime member of a terrorist organization.

“The IRGC has a history of violence and killing not only of Iranian people and protesters there, but also innocent people in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. It is a designated foreign terrorist organization by the United States.

“We call for an immediate investigation by the IOC, and until an investigation is completed the suspension of any medal award.”

According to AFP, state-run media in Iran celebrated his victory, describing him as “a defender of health and of the shrine,” with one publication showing a photo of him giving a military salute during the Iranian anthem as he received his gold medal. (Yahoo Sports)