Security forces are said to have killed a man in northern Iran during anti-government protests following the national football team’s loss to the United States on Tuesday according to cnn.com
Mehran Samak was shot in the head by security personnel while celebrating in Bandar Anzali on Tuesday night, according to the Norway-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR). IHR stated that the information was confirmed by “several independent sources.”
“His name was #MehranSamak. He was shot in the head by state forces when he went out to celebrate the Islamic Republic’s loss at FIFA World Cup2022 in Bandar Anzali last night like many across the country. He was just 27 years old,” Iran Human Rights said on Wednesday.
Initially, IHR and other activist groups reported that authorities were holding Samak’s body and refusing to return it to his family. IHR posted a video of protesters gathered outside the state’s Forensic Medical Organization, demanding that the body be returned to his family.
Later that day, pro-reform news outlet IranWire shared video of crowds chanting “death to dictator” at Samak’s funeral in Bandar Anzali.
Iranian police denied killing Samak and announced the arrest of several suspects on Thursday, according to Iran’s state-affiliated Tasmin news agency.
“Following the football game between our national team and the US, a number of rioters gathered in Anzali’s Cheraq Bargh quarter, and the corpse of a man, around 30, was discovered.” According to Tasnim, Bandar Anzali police chief Colonel Jafar Javanmardi said he was shot with a hunting rifle based on existing evidence.
According to Tasnim, Javanmardi denied opposition media reports that Samak had been shot in the head by authorities, saying, “initially, the counter-revolutionary and opposition media had reported this as this young man having been shot in the head by the authorities and having later died in the hospital.”
Tasnim also published Samak’s photo with the article.
Anzali County’s police chief also said that a number of suspects were identified and arrested and the attempt to identify the assailant continues, Tasnim reported.