A man was killed by security forces in Iran after he honked his car horn to celebrate the country’s World Cup loss to the US, a human rights group said Wednesday — as anti-government protests erupted across the country following the defeat.
Mehran Samak, 27, was allegedly shot in the head at an anti-regime demonstration in Bandar Anzali after he rejoiced in the country’s 1-0 defeat, the Iran Human Rights group said, according to the BBC.
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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, the NY Post reports.
Footage shared on social media shows Iranians cheering and setting off fireworks.
The post-game demonstrations erupted in support of the women’s rights protests rocking the nation — sparked by the police-custody death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September.
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 Wednesday as mourners shouted the chant, “You are the filth, you are the 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 Wednesday.
According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, at least 455 Iranians have died in the intense clashes.
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.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.