An Iran man identify as Mehran Samak was killed by security forces in Iran after he honked his car to celebrate the country’s World Cup loss to the USA.
This is according to a human rights group who are observing the ongoing anti-government protests in Iran. The protest erupted across the country again following Iran’s defeat to the USA in Qatar.
Mehran Samak, 27, was allegedly shot in the head at an anti-regime demonstration in Bandar Anzali on Tuesday night after he rejoiced in the country’s 1-0 defeat to the USA, the Iran Human Rights group told the BBC.
State-affiliated media blamed hostile forces both inside and outside Iran for putting unfair pressure on the players following their 1-0 loss to the USA in the final group game.
The alleged shooting came as Iranians opposed to the country’s “murderous” political regime took to the streets to celebrate the soccer team’s loss to its longtime political rival in Qatar on Tuesday.
The players did not sing the national anthem before their first game, a 6-2 defeat by England, in an apparent expression of solidarity with the protesters.
But they sang the anthem at the Wales game, which they won 2-0, and at the politically-charged showdown against the USA.
Some protesters saw that as a betrayal of their anti-government protest even though there were reports that the team came under intense pressure from Iranian authorities.
The unrest started 10 weeks ago following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman arrested by morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the strict rules requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab.
The post-game demonstrations erupted in support of the women’s rights protests rocking the nation sparked by the demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September 2022 in police custody.
Before the much-anticipated soccer match, some anti-regime Iranians refused to support their nation’s soccer team, saying it’s a symbol of the Islamic Republic.
Amini, an aspiring lawyer, was arrested by Iran’s morality police on Sept. 13 for allegedly violating the country’s strict hijab laws by wearing it in a way that made some of her hair visible.
Tehran authorities claimed she died of a heart attack.
A video obtained by BBC Persian showed Samak’s burial on Wednesday as mourners chanted, “You are the filth, you are immoral, I am a free woman!” a phrase that has become a rallying cry in the women’s rights protests.
The US State Department didn’t immediately return The Post’s request for information on the alleged shooting on Wednesday.
According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, at least 455 Iranians have died in the intense clashes.
Authorities have responded to what they have portrayed as foreign-backed “riots” with a violent crackdown in which the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights says at least 448 people have been killed, including 60 children. More than 18,000 others are reported to have been arrested.
There was also a confrontation between opponents and supporters of the government outside the Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar after Tuesday’s match.
Iranian security forces have denied killing peaceful protesters but the opposition activist group 1500tasvir has posted videos that it says show security personnel opening fire at protesters and beating a woman in Qazvin, south of Bandar Anzali.