Iranian unrest blows over to World Cup: female fans harassed and abused at stadium

© REUTERS

The political unrest in Iran threatens to overshadow the country’s second match at the World Cup. Pro-government fans harassed anti-regime protesters outside the stadium in Qatar ahead of their second group game against Wales.

ltoSource: BELGA

Some Iranian fans confiscated flags from supporters standing against the Iranian regime who entered the stadium and shouted insults at people wearing jerseys with the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom”

Men angrily chanted “Islamic Republic of Iran” at women who gave interviews about the protests in their home countries to foreign media. Many female fans were visibly shocked when Iranian government supporters surrounded them with national flags and filmed them on their phones.

Outside the security checkpoint at the stadium, verbal abuse erupted between fans who shouted “women, life, freedom” and others who shouted “Islamic Republic”.

On Monday, Iran’s players did not sing their national anthem before their opening match against England. In doing so, they seemed to support the mass protests in their homeland. Iranian state television interrupted the broadcast during the hymn. The team sang the national anthem on Friday.

Protests have been ongoing in Iran since mid-September following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died after being arrested by the police for violating the Islamic dress code. The demonstrators are being dealt with harshly: according to human rights organizations, more than 400 people have already been killed.

© REUTERS

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