An Iranian man has been killed for celebrating the United States’ FIFA World Cup victory over Iran

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An Iranian man was shot dead by security forces after the United States celebrated his country’s elimination from the competition Globalism Cup, rights groups said Wednesday. Iran was knocked out of the World Cup finals by the United States in Qatar on Tuesday night, prompting mixed reactions from supporters and opponents of the regime. Many refused to support the national team in response to the government’s bloody crackdown on more than two months of protests sparked by the death in custody of Mohsa Amini.

Human rights groups said Mahran Sammak, 27, was shot and killed after honking his car horn in Bandar Anzali, a city on the Caspian Sea coast northwest of Tehran.

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The Oslo-based Iranian Human Rights Group (IHR) said Samak was “directly targeted and shot in the head by security forces… after the national team’s defeat by America”.

The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) also reported that he was killed by security forces during the ceremony. There was no immediate comment from the Iranian authorities on the incident.

In an unusual development, Iranian international midfielder Saeed Ezzatullah, who played in the American match and is from Bandar Anzali, revealed that he knows Samak and posted a picture of the two of them together in a youth soccer team.

“After the bitter loss last night, the news of your death set fires in my heart,” Ezzatullah said on Instagram, calling Samak a “childhood classmate.”

He did not comment on the circumstances of his friend’s death, but said: “One day the masks will fall, and the truth will be revealed.”

He added, “This is not what our youth deserve. This is not what our nation deserves.” Ezzatullah, stunned by the result, was seen after the final whistle being comforted by his teammates and the American players.

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Tense funeral

The Iranian national team was under intense scrutiny at the World Cup, and did not sing the national anthem in its first match but did so in two consecutive matches, amid reports of pressure from the authorities not to show support for the protests.

The Commonwealth of Human Rights released video from Samak’s funeral on Wednesday in which mourners can be heard chanting “Death to the dictator”. The chant targeting Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was one of the main slogans of the protests that erupted after Amini’s death in custody. On September 16th.

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The International Health Regulations said that the authorities refused to hand over the body to the family, while BBC Persian said that the funeral in Bandar Anzali went ahead without prior announcement and with a heavy security presence in an attempt to avoid major incidents.

Iranian security forces have killed at least 448 people in the crackdown on protests, including 60 children under the age of 18 and 29 women, according to human rights regulations. On Monday, an Iranian general said more than 300 people had been killed in the unrest.

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