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Amid protests at home, Iran boxing chief says he won’t go back after Spain tournament

Iranian students protest against the Islamic regime at Amir Kabir University in Tehran, October 29, 2022. (Twitter screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Iranian students protest against the Islamic regime at Amir Kabir University in Tehran, October 29, 2022. (Twitter screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The head of Iran’s boxing federation says he will not return home from a tournament in Spain, amid a nationwide wave of protests triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death.

“I have decided not to return to Iran so that I can be the voice of those whose voices aren’t heard by the authorities,” Hossein Soori says in a video shared on social media. He notes “in particular the residents of Sistan-Baluchistan,” a province on Iran’s southeastern border with Pakistan, where he said “dozens of innocent people have been killed.”

“I could no longer serve my dear country, in a system that so easily sheds the blood of human beings,” says Soori, who has been head of the boxing federation since 2017.

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