A 27-year-old Iranian man was reportedly killed by state security forces Tuesday night after he was shot in the head for honking a horn in celebration of Iran's defeat in the World Cup.
According to multiple reports, including from the Iran Human Rights NGO, Mehran Samak was killed by government agents after he joined dozens of other demonstrators on the streets in Bandar-e Anzali, a city in northern Iran, in protest of the regime's abysmal human rights record.
Despite the Iranian regime's oppressive nature, protests have steadily broken out since September ... when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died three days after being arrested in the nation's capital of Tehran for allegedly violating the Islamic dress code.
The protests quickly broadened to include the general rights of the country's citizens. Over 400 people have been killed for participating in the protests, according to a human rights org.
Mehran Samak was reportedly laid to rest Wednesday morning. BBC Persia posted a video the outlet says is from the funeral service. Mourners were heard yelling, "You are the filth, you are the immoral, I am a free woman," a phrase BBC says has been used frequently during the unrest.
تصاویری به دست بیبیسی فارسی رسیده که نشان میدهد مهران سماک، شهروندی که گفته میشود در جریان اعتراضهای بعد از باخت تیم ملی در برابر آمریکا کشته شده، در شهر بندر انزلی به خاک سپرده شده است. pic.twitter.com/uQ66HUaBXD
Given the tense situation inside the country, the players -- caught in between the government and its citizens -- have faced incredible pressure.
Prior to Iran's first W.C. match against England, players didn't sing the national anthem. But, that lasted just one game after the players were reportedly threatened by the government, where players were essentially warned ... sing or face possible retribution.
Now, as the team returns home, there are fears players and/or people close to them could face harm.