An Iranian man was killed by security forces for celebrating the Iranian football team’s loss to the United States team in the FIFA World Cup, as per media reports.
The 27-year-old Mehran Samak was shot dead in Bandar Anzali for honking his car horn in support of the anti-government protests in the country, said a Guardian report. He “was targeted directly and shot in the head by security forces … following the defeat of the national team against America,” the report said, quoting Iran Human Rights (IHR).
After Iran lost 0-1 to the US in Doha on Wednesday, some Iranians burst firecrackers and honked car horns to celebrate the loss. An Associated Press report said that some football fans in the country’s Kurdish region also shouted “Death to the dictator,” a popular protest slogan referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The protests began in September after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, allegedly in the hands of the country’s strict moral police. In the crackdown that followed, at least 448 people were killed, including 60 children under the age of 18 and 29 women, as per IHR.
Meanwhile, footballer Saeid Ezatolahi, who was one of starting XI for the World Cup match, said that he knew the slain man. Ezatolahi, who hails from Bandar Anzali, shared a photo of the two of them in a youth football team.
In an Instagram story, Ezatolahi wrote: “After last night’s bitter loss, the news of your passing set fire to my heart,” as per the Guardian.“Some day the masks will fall, the truth will be laid bare,” he added.