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Iranian authorities block internet in attempt to stymie growing protests

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22.09.2022

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iranians experienced a “near total” internet blackout on Wednesday amid days of mass protests against the government over the death of a woman held by the country’s morality police for allegedly violating its strictly-enforced dress code.

An Iranian official had earlier hinted that such measures might be taken out of security concerns. The loss of connectivity will make it more difficult for people to organize protests and share information about the government’s rolling crackdown on dissent.

Iran has seen nationwide protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly wearing the mandatory Islamic headscarf too loosely. Demonstrators have clashed with police and called for the downfall of the Islamic Republic itself, even as Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

The protests continued for a fifth day on Wednesday, including in the capital, Tehran. Police there fired tear gas at protesters who chanted “Death to the dictator,” and “I will kill the one who killed my sister,” according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

London-based rights group Amnesty International said security forces have used batons, birdshot, tear gas, and water cannons to disperse protesters. It reported eight deaths linked to the unrest, including four people killed by security forces. It said hundreds more have been wounded.

Iranian officials have reported three deaths, blaming them on unnamed armed groups.

Witnesses in Iran, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said late Wednesday they could no longer access the internet using mobile devices.

“We’re seeing internet service, including mobile data, being........

© The Times of Israel


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