Iran arrests soccer player Ghafouri after he supported protests – DW – 24/11/2022

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Iranian police arrested former international soccer player Voria Ghafouri, who supported the ongoing protests against Iran’s regime, state media reported Thursday.

Ghafouri, a player of Kurdish origin, is one of Iran’s most prominent soccer players. However, he was not selected to go to the World Cup in Qatar this year.

His arrest comes amid scrutiny of the conduct of Iran’s national team in Qatar, where they refused to sing the national anthem in solidarity with protests against the government.

The government has launched a violent suppression of the demonstrations which has rocked Iran for the past two months.

The UN condemns the harsh response to Iran’s protests

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Why was Voria Ghafouri arrested?

According to Iranian state news agencies, Ghafouri was detained on charges of “tarnishing the reputation of the national team and spreading propaganda against the state.”

He was arrested after a training session with his club Foolad Khuzestan.

Ghafouri has been a vocal critic of the Iranian authorities throughout his career.

In particular, the athlete has long protested a ban on female spectators at men’s football matchesin addition to criticizing Tehran’s foreign policy.

He recently called for an end to a crackdown on demonstrations in Iran’s western Kurdistan region.

Ghafouri also expressed sympathy for the family of Name Mahsa Aminithe 22-year-old woman whose death in the custody of Iran’s notorious morality police ignited the latest wave of protests.

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fb/dj (AFP, AP)

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