NewsIran cuts Internet access due to protests against the...

Iran cuts Internet access due to protests against the use of the veil

Iranian women participating in the protests removed their hijab (scarves or veils) in the middle of the street, something prohibited in Iran.

Some of them even burned the garments in public amid cheers from the protesters, as seen in the images that have been widely circulated on the networks.

Protests in Iran

Several demonstrations have taken place in Iran since Monday, September 19, especially in Tehran and Mashhad, against the death of a young woman detained by the morality police, who denied any responsibility for the death.

That same day at night, on Hejab (“Muslim veil” in Persian) street, in the center of Tehran, “several hundred people shouted slogans against the authorities and some took off their veils”, compulsory for women in the country, announced the Fars agency.

Other protests had taken place during the day at various universities in the capital, according to local media.

A short video released by Fars shows a crowd of dozens of protesters, especially women, without headscarves shouting “death to the Islamic Republic”.

A similar meeting took place in Mashhad, the country’s first holy city, located in the northeast, the Tasnim agency reported.

In the northwest of the country, where the deceased was from, “around 500 people gathered in Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdistan province, and shouted slogans against those responsible for the country,” Fars said.

Iranian security forces dispersed a demonstration with tear gas and made “several arrests” after the death of the young woman detained by the morality police, according to the same source.

The protesters “broke the windows of vehicles and set fire to garbage … the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd,” the agency added.

“Several people were detained,” Fars added, without giving an exact number.

The morality police, tasked with enforcing women to abide by the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code — especially wearing the veil in public — have been criticized in recent months for being violent.

Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested Tuesday in Tehran, where she was visiting her family. He died Friday in hospital, after spending three days in a coma.

failures in social networks

Since the start of the protests, internet connections have slowed down and authorities later blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp.

“By decision of the authorities, it is no longer possible to access Instagram in Iran since Wednesday night and access to WhatsApp is also interrupted,” the Fars news agency announced.

The measure was taken because “of the actions carried out by the counterrevolutionaries against national security through these social networks,” added Fars.

Instagram and WhatsApp are the most used applications in Iran after the blocking of platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and Tiktok in recent years. In addition, internet access is largely filtered or restricted by the authorities.

In southern Iran, videos apparently from Wednesday show protesters burning a huge portrait of General Qassem Soleimani, killed in a US strike in Iraq in January 2020.

Riots and repression

Many Iranians participated in the demonstrations concentrated in the crowded areas of the capital Tehran, such as Veliasr Street, Veliasr Square, Daniscu Park, Tulip Park, Keshawerz Boulevard, Hijab Street, Fatimi Street and Inkilap Street.

While the police intervened with tear gas, the protesters tried to barricade the roads by burning garbage containers. In the images published on social networks, some protesters claimed that the security forces used plastic bullets or the like during the intervention.

The protesters, who chanted slogans such as “Death to the dictator” and “I will kill whoever killed my brother” against the Tehran administration, said they would not leave the streets.

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