Iran’s internet restricted as crackdown on spreading protests intensifies

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  • Unrest sweeps Iran since young woman dies in custody
  • Three people died on Tuesday, authorities said
  • Restrict Access to Instagram and WhatsApp – NetBlocks
  • Social media videos show new protests at Tehran University

DUBAI, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Three people were killed on Tuesday as outrage over the death of a woman detained by ethics police sparked a fifth day of protests, Iranian authorities said Social media imposes new restrictions.

Official sources now say seven people have been killed since protests erupted Saturday over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iranian Kurdistan, who was arrested in Tehran last week for “inappropriate clothing”. Died after capture.

The Kurdish human rights group Hengaw reported that seven protesters were killed by security forces in or near the northwestern Kurdish region, where unrest was particularly intense, three of them on Tuesday. Officials deny that security forces killed the protesters.

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Authorities restricted access to the internet as the protests spread to more than 50 towns and cities, according to Hengaw, residents and Internet shutdown observatory NetBlocks.

NetBlocks and residents said access was limited to Instagram — the only major social media platform typically allowed in Iran, with millions of more

WhatsApp users said they could only send texts, not pictures, while Hengaw said internet access had been cut off in Kurdistan province — a move that would hinder the sharing of videos in the region, where authorities have previously cracked down on the Kurdish minority National more

Meta Platforms (META.O), owner of Instagram and WhatsApp, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amini’s death sparked outrage over issues such as the Islamic Republic’s freedom and an economy teetering on sanctions. Women waved and burned their veils during the protests, and some cut their hair in public.

Protests swept through much of the country after starting Saturday at Amini’s funeral in the Kurdish region, sparking confrontations as security forces tried to suppress them.

This week, top aides to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered their condolences to Amini’s family, pledged to follow up on the case and said Khamenei was distressed by her death.

In the southern city of Shiraz, a “police assistant” died of his injuries after “some people clashed with police” on Tuesday, the official IRNA news agency said. IRNA quoted an official as saying that 15 protesters were arrested in Shiraz.

In Kermanshah, city prosecutors said two people were killed in riots on Tuesday, citing prosecutor Shahram Karami, the semi-official Fars news agency, which they accused of arming dissidents because The victim was “killed with a weapon not used by security agencies”.

In comments to the semi-official Tasnim news agency, Kurdistan’s police chief confirmed that four people had died in the province earlier this week. He said they were hit by a bullet not used by security forces, saying the “gang” wanted to blame police and security officials.

Hengaw said 450 people were wounded in addition to seven Kurdish protesters who said they had died in “direct fire” by government forces over the past four days. Reuters could not independently confirm the casualty report.

Amini fell into a coma and died while waiting with other women held by the ethics police, which enforce strict rules in Iran requiring women to cover their hair and wear loose clothing in more

Her father said she had no health problems and that she had bruises on her legs while in custody. He believes the police are responsible for her death. Police denied hurting her.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner has called for an impartial investigation into her death and allegations of torture and more

“Death of a Dictator”

A senior security official told Reuters that security forces had been ordered to curb the protests. “We received warnings from security groups to end the protests or face jail time,” said an activist in Iran’s Kurdistan province.

Videos shared on social media showed demonstrators vandalising symbols of the Islamic Republic and confronting security forces.

One of the photos shows a man climbing the façade of the town hall in the northern city of Surrey, tearing down the walls of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who founded the Islamic Republic after the 1979 revolution. portrait.

A video shared by 1500tasvir showed hundreds of people chanting “death to the dictator” at the University of Tehran in Tehran on Wednesday.

Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the video.

State media and officials described the unrest as one of “counter-revolutionaries”.

Basij, a militia group under Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, held its own rally in Tehran on Wednesday. “The moral police are just an excuse, their target is the regime itself,” they chanted in a video posted on 1500tasvir.

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Reporting in Dubai Newsroom; Writing by Tom Perry and Dominic Evans Editing by David Gregorio and Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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