Iranian shot dead for celebrating loss against US in Qatar World Cup

TEHRAN, 1 Dec 2022:

A man was allegedly killed by Iran’s security forces for publicly celebrating the national team’s defeat against the US at the World Cup in Qatar, a Norway-based NGO said today.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) tweeted: “His name was Mehran Samak. He was shot in the head by state forces when he went out to celebrate the Islamic Republic’s loss at Fifa World Cup 2022.

“He was just 27 years old.”

In subsequent tweets, IHRNGO accused the Islamic Republic’s Forensic Medical Organisation of refusing to deliver the corpse to the man’s family, despite “a crowd of people gathering outside the building to support them.”

Iran’s national team lost 0-1 on Tuesday against the US, which eliminated them from the group stage of the World Cup.

The team was given a frosty reception on their return, according to local media, only a few dozen fans were waiting for the players when they arrived last night in the Iranian capital.

The pre-match build up was marked by controversy after the US Soccer Federation posted images on their social media channels of the Iranian flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic — a symbol of the theocratic state founded by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.

Michael Kammarman, press officer of the US national team, said the posts, which were displayed only temporarily, intended to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights,” amid the protests over the death of Mahsa Amini that continue to shake the nation.

The social unrest began in mid-September after the death in police custody of 22-year-old Amini, who had been detained by the so-called morality police in Tehran for allegedly not wearing her headscarf properly.

The movement is led by young people and women under the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom.”

IHRNGO estimates that at least 448 people, including 51 minors, have been killed by national forces since the beginning of the unrest.