TEHRAN: Iran’s Basij militia has unveiled a video game whose hero is George Floyd, the Black man who was murdered by a white police officer in the US last year. In the “Nejat-e-Azadi” (Defend Freedom) 3D game, developed by the Basij’s IT department, the player must overcome obstacles and side-step enemies across 30 levels of difficulty.
Iran’s Saheb News, which is close to the Basij — a volunteer Islamic militia loyal to the establishment — said the game was presented Tuesday during a digital production conference it held in Tehran. The killing of 46-year-old Floyd in May 2020 sparked America’s biggest demonstrations for racial justice in decades.
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a 45-year-old white man, was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly 10 minutes. He and three colleagues had arrested Floyd on suspicion of having passed a fake $20 bill in a store in Minneapolis. They handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground in the street.
“Today, the only place where the United States can still present its defeats as victories is on the internet,” Basij head Gholamreza Soleimani, who was present for the event, was quoted as saying. There are at least 32 million gamers among Iran’s population of over 80 million, according to a report from the Iran Computer and Video Games Foundation.