HomeWorldIranians witness widespread internet outage amid mass protests over Mahsa Amini's death

Iranians witness widespread internet outage amid mass protests over Mahsa Amini’s death

Iran has seen nationwide protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly wearing a mandatory Islamic headscarf.

Iran has seen nationwide protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly wearing a mandatory Islamic headscarf.

Iranians experienced widespread internet outages on Wednesday amid massive protests against the government, including loss of access to Instagram and WhatsApp, two of the last Western social media platforms available in the country.

An Iranian official has previously indicated that such measures may 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 action on dissent.

Iran has seen nationwide protests 22-year-old Mahsa Amini dies, who was detained for allegedly wearing the obligatory Islamic headscarf too loosely. Iran’s President Ibrahim Raisi, during his address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, called on protesters to clash with police and call for the fall of the Islamic republic.

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

Iranian officials have reported three deaths, blaming unidentified armed groups.

Witnesses in Iran, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, told the Associated Press late Wednesday that they could no longer access the Internet using mobile devices.

Network Intelligence Company, Kentuck, Inc. “We are seeing that Internet service, including mobile data, has been blocked in Iran over the past few hours,” Doug Madori, director of internet analysis in the US, said late Wednesday.

“Given the prevailing situation in the country, this is likely to be the action of the government,” he said. “I can confirm the almost complete collapse of internet connectivity for mobile providers in Iran.”

Netblocks, a London-based group that tracks Internet access, previously reported widespread disruptions to both Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook’s parent company Meta, which owns both platforms, said it was aware that Iranians were being denied access to internet services. “We hope that their right to be online will be restored quickly,” it said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran’s telecommunications minister Isa Zarepour was quoted by state media as saying that some sanctions could be imposed without elaboration “due to security issues”.

Iran already blocks Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and YouTube, even though top Iranian officials access public accounts on such platforms. Many Iranians get around the restrictions by using virtual private networks, known as VPNs and proxies.

In a separate development, several official websites, including those of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Presidency and the Central Bank, were at least briefly removed as hackers claimed to have launched cyberattacks on state agencies.

Hackers affiliated with the shadowy Anonymous movement said they targeted other Iranian state agencies, including State TV.

Central Bank spokesman Mustafa Kamarivafa denied that the bank itself was hacked, saying only that the server hosting the website was “inaccessible” because of the attack, as reported by the official IRNA news agency. in comment. The website was later restored.

Iran has been the target of several cyber attacks in recent years, with many hackers expressing criticism of its democracy. Last year, a cyberattack paralyzed gas stations across the country, leading to long lines of angry motorists who didn’t get subsidized fuel for days. The messages accompanying the attack appeared to refer to the Supreme Leader.

Amini’s death is being protested across the country. Police say she died of a heart attack and was not abused, but her family raised doubts that she had no pre-existing heart condition and they were asked to see her body. was stopped from

The UN Human Rights Office says ethics police have intensified operations in recent months and resorted to more violent methods, including slapping women, beating them with sticks and pushing into police vehicles.

President Joe Biden, who also spoke at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, said in support of the protesters, “We stand with the brave citizens and brave women of Iran who are protesting right now to secure their basic rights.” Huh.”

Britain also issued a statement on Wednesday calling for an investigation into Amini’s death and calling on Iran to “respect the right to peaceful assembly”.

Mr Raisi has demanded an inquiry into Amini’s death. Iranian officials have accused unidentified foreign countries of the protests of trying to stir up unrest.

Iran has faced waves of protests in recent years, mainly over a long-running economic crisis stemming from Western sanctions linked to its nuclear program.

The Biden administration and European allies are working to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in which Iran curbed its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, but talks have been at a standstill for months.

In his speech at the United Nations, Mr Raisi said Iran was committed to reviving the nuclear deal, but questioned whether it could count on US commitment to any agreement.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. It began ramping up its nuclear activities after then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 deal, and experts say it now likely has enough high-enriched uranium to make a bomb if it does so. selects the option.

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