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Iran: One killed as anti-government protesters celebrate World Cup defeat

Iran: One killed as anti-government protesters celebrate World Cup defeat
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CNN
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One person was reportedly killed by security forces during mass celebrations by anti-government protesters in northern Iran. of the national football team loss against the U.S. on Tuesday.

Iran Human Rights Organization (IHR), based in Norway, said that Mehran Samak was shot in the head by security personnel while he was outside. notes Tuesday night in Bandar Anzali. The IHR said it had confirmed the information through “several independent sources”.

“His name was #MehranSamak. He was shot in the head by state forces last night as he went out to celebrate the defeat of the Islamic Republic of the Islamic Republic in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Bandar Anzali last night. He was only 27 years old,” Iran Human Rights said on Wednesday.

IHR and other activist groups initially reported that the authorities kept Samak’s body and refused to release it to his family. The IHR shared a video showing people gathering outside the state’s Forensic Medicine Authority demanding the return of the body to the family.

On Wednesday, the pro-reform IranWire news agency shared a video showing a crowd chanting “death to the dictator” at Samak’s funeral in Bandar Anzali.

Iran’s state-run Tasmin news agency reported Thursday that Iranian police denied that Samak was killed by authorities and announced the arrest of several suspects.

“After the football match between our national team and the United States, several rioters gathered in Cherag Bargh neighborhood of Anzali city, and bodies of about 30 people were discovered. According to the available evidence, he was shot with a shotgun,” said Colonel Jafar Javanmardi, head of Bandar Anzali police.

Cavanmardi refuted the reports in the opposition media about Samak being shot in the head by the authorities and said: “At first, the counter-revolutionary and opposition media reported that this young man was shot in the head by the authorities and later died in the hospital. ,” according to Tasnim.

Tasnim published a photo of Samak along with the article.

Tasnim reports that the police chief of Anzali province also said that several suspects have been identified and arrested, and the attempt to identify the attacker continues.

Footage obtained by CNN from the pro-reform news outlet IranWire shows Samak's funeral in Bandar Anzali.

Samak was a close friend of Saeed Ezatolahi, a member of Iran’s national football team, who had just returned to Iran after the team left the World Cup in Qatar. The football player wrote a memorial to his childhood friend on Instagram on Wednesday.

“I wish we could always stay the same age… no worries, no hate, no jealousy, no fighting to put each other down…. There’s a lot to be said about my childhood teammate, but unfortunately people are egos. and they drown in jealousy and become a mess, so that you can hardly find those who listen to these words or do not exist at all …

“Of course, after another bitter night last night, and with the news of your death, my heart burned even more.

Iran’s state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Thursday that Iranian prosecutor Mehdi Fallah Miri said the case of Samak’s “suspicious” killing was opened after he died “as a result of a pellet bullet.”

According to ISNA, Miri added: “As soon as this suspicious incident happened, a case was opened to deal with the matter and the case is being handled by the Bandar Anzali prosecutor.”

A few videos posted on social networks People in various Iranian cities, including the capital Tehran, are seen celebrating in their homes and apartments after the United States beat Iran 1-0 in the World Cup on Tuesday night.

“I’m happy, this government is losing to the people,” one witness to the celebrations in a town in the Kurdish region told CNN on Wednesday. CNN is not naming the witness for security reasons.

1500tasvir activists also released videos on Tuesday night showing security forces shooting at people in Behbahan and beating a woman in Qazvin, south of Bandar Anzali, where Samak was said to have been shot.

CNN cannot independently confirm the information because the Iranian government does not allow foreign media into the country and is not transparent in its reporting on protests and protester casualties.

The protests have rocked Iran for months and led to a deadly crackdown by the authorities.

It was the first to ignite a nationwide uprising Death of Mahsa Amin, a 22-year-old Iranian woman of Kurdish origin who died in mid-September after being detained by the country’s morality police. Since then, protesters across Iran have united with the regime over a range of grievances.

The head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, said that there is a “full-fledged human rights crisis” in the country as the authorities crack down on protests.

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