Iran releases 709 prisoners after team’s FIFA World Cup win over Wales

According to Iran judiciary's website, "709 detainees were freed from different prisons in the country".

Iran FIFA World Cup 2022
Iran's team at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Photo: Twitter/FIFA

After the national football team’s 2-0 win over Wales at the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, Iran has released more than 700 prisoners, according to the country’s judiciary website.

Mizan Online website on Monday (November 28) said that “709 detainees were freed from different prisons in the country” after Iran defeated Wales on Friday (November 26).

Also read: Full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2022

Among those are “some arrested during the recent events,” Mizan Online said, making indirect reference to demonstrations that have shaken Iran for more than two months, according to an AFP report.

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Before the start of the match against Wales, tensions ran high as fans supporting the Iranian government harassed those protesting against it and stadium security seized flags, T-shirts and other items expressing support for the protest movement that has gripped the Islamic Republic.

Also read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Schedule, groups, match times in IST, venues, live TV, streaming, and more

Some fans were stopped by stadium security from bringing in Persian pre-revolutionary flags to match against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

Others carrying such flags had them ripped from their hands by pro-government Iran fans, who also shouted insults at fans wearing T-shirts with the slogan of the protest movement gripping the country, “Woman, Life, Freedom”.

Also read: FIFA World Cup: Iran coach Queiroz hits back at Klinsmann

The demonstrations, spurred by the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police, have quickly grown into calls for the downfall of the Islamic Republic itself. At least 419 people have been killed since the protests erupted, according to the monitoring group Human Rights Activists in Iran.

The turmoil has overshadowed the start of Iran s World Cup campaign.

Also read: Iran media blames humiliating World Cup loss on protests

The opening match against England on Monday was the scene of protests as anti-government fans waved signs and chanted in the stands.

Before that match, which Iran lost 6-2, its players remained silent as their national anthem played and didn’t celebrate their two goals.

On Friday they sang along to the anthem and celebrated wildly when they scored in the 2-0 win against Wales.

(With agency inputs)

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