Middle East

Iran protests enter second week as government ramps up crackdown, curbs internet

Thousands at government-backed pro-hijab anti-hijab rallies across Iran on Friday after a week of bloody protests over the death of a woman arrested for “improperly” wearing a Muslim headscarf gave a demo.

Iran has been rocked by street violence since the death last week of 22-year-old Kurdish man Martha Amini, who spent three days in a coma after being detained by moral police.

The official death toll from the clashes remains at least 17, including five security personnel, but the New York-based Center for Iranian Human Rights (CHRI) put the figure at 36 and expects it to rise further. said there is.

As part of the crackdown, Iran has imposed severe restrictions on internet use, disrupting protesters’ rallies and trying to block the flow of images of the protest from reaching the outside world.

As part of the crackdown, Iran has imposed severe restrictions on internet use, disrupting protesters’ rallies and trying to block the flow of images of the protest from reaching the outside world.

The U.S. on Friday restricted exports to Iran to expand internet services after SpaceX owner Elon Musk said he would seek exemptions from sanctions for offering his company’s Starlink satellite service in Iran. announced to ease

The new measures will allow technology companies to “expand the range of Internet services available to Iranians,” said Undersecretary of Finance Wally Adiemo.

Thousands of people took to the streets in support of hijabs and conservative dress codes at government-backed dissident rallies in cities such as Tehran, Ahwaz, Isfahan, Qom and Tabriz on Friday.

Iran’s Mehr news agency said: “A mass demonstration of the Iranian people denouncing co-conspirators and blasphemers against religion took place today.” State television broadcast footage of hijab demonstrators in central Tehran. Most of them were men, but some women wore black chadors.

one night stand clash

Amini died on September 16, three days after being hospitalized after being arrested by the Morality Police, a unit charged with enforcing strict dress codes for women in the Islamic Republic.

The activist said she suffered a blow to the head while in custody, but this has not been confirmed by Iranian authorities, who have launched an investigation.

After her death was pronounced, angry protests flared up and spread to major cities such as the capital Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz and Tabriz.

Oslo-based Kurdish rights group Hengaw said on Friday that security forces fired “semi-heavy weapons” at demonstrators during overnight clashes in the northern city of Oshnaviyeh in recent violence. The report could not be independently verified.

In nearby Babol, demonstrators were seen setting fire to a large billboard bearing an image of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a video shared online.

Some female demonstrators defiantly took off their hijabs and burned them in bonfires, or symbolically cut their hair before cheering the crowd.

Security forces arrested activists, including Majid Tabakoli, who had been jailed repeatedly in recent years, including after the contested 2009 elections.

“Heavy bleeding”

Demonstrators threw stones at them, set police cars on fire and chanted anti-government slogans, IRNA reported. “The government has responded with live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas, and videos shared on social media also show protesters bleeding profusely,” CHRI said.

Amid angry protests sparked by Amini’s death, internet access has been restricted in what web monitor NetBlocks called a “curfew-style chaos pattern.”

“Online platforms continue to be restricted, connectivity is intermittent for many users, and mobile internet was interrupted for three days on Friday,” NetBlocks said.

Access to social media services, Instagram and WhatsApp has been blocked since Wednesday night, and connectivity was still largely disrupted as of Friday. The measure was taken in response to “actions carried out through these social networks by counter-revolutionaries against national security,” Iran’s Fars news agency said.

“We must distinguish between demonstrators and vandalism,” President Ebrahim Raisi said at a news conference in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The unrest comes at a particularly sensitive time for its leaders, as Iran’s economy is in a crisis largely driven by sanctions on its nuclear program. – AFP

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/iran-protests-enter-second-week-as-govt-intensifies-clampdown-restricts-internet/ Iran protests enter second week as government ramps up crackdown, curbs internet

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