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Iran restricts internet access as protests claim 11 lives – Times of India

Paris: Iran Internet access was restricted on Thursday after days of protests and unrest took the lives of at least 11 people after the death of a young woman in moral police custody.
Public outrage flares in the Islamic Republic over the death of a 22-year-old man last week Masa Aminiwas detained on suspicion of wearing a hijab headscarf in an “improper” manner.
Activists said a Kurdish woman whose first name was Zina was fatally shot in the head, but the authorities who announced the investigation denied the allegations.
In six straight nights of protests, female demonstrators defiantly took off their headscarves and burned them in bonfires or symbolically cut their hair before cheering the crowds.
“No to headscarves… yes to freedom and equality!” Protesters in Tehran were heard chanting at a rally echoed by solidarity protests abroad.
An Iranian woman interviewed by AFP on the streets of Tehran said she had become more careful with her dress to avoid running into moral police.
“It’s scary,” said Nazanin, a 23-year-old nurse who asked to identify by first name only for safety reasons. She added that it is not.
International vigilance rises over Iran crackdown on protests, including by US president Joe Biden In a speech to the United Nations.
“Today, we stand with the brave citizens of Iran and the brave women who are demonstrating to secure their basic rights.” Biden said at a meeting on Wednesday.
He was speaking shortly after world leaders gathered in New York to hear Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s defiant speech.
He pointed to the death of an indigenous woman in Canada, Israel’s actions in Palestinian territory, and the Islamic State group’s “barbarism” against women from religious minority groups.
Raishi said, “As long as there is a double standard where attention is focused on one side and not all are equal, there can be no true justice and fairness.”
Iranian state media said street rallies had spread to 15 cities by Wednesday, with police using tear gas to make arrests and disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people.
In southern Iran, video footage reportedly from Wednesday shows the building of General Qassem Soleimani, a revered Revolutionary Guard commander who was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in 2020. A giant photo on the side of the building showed demonstrators setting fire.
Protesters threw rocks at security forces, set fire to police vehicles and trash cans, and chanted anti-government slogans, state-run IRNA news agency reported.
Video footage of protesters chanting “Death to the Dictator” and “Women, Life, Liberty” has circulated outside Iran, despite online restrictions first reported by Internet access monitor Netblox.
Iran moved to further block access to Instagram and WhatsApp on Thursday.
“As of yesterday (Wednesday) evening, access to Instagram has been disabled in Iran and access to WhatsApp has been suspended as per the decision of the authorities,” the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
These two apps are Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, YouTube, and tick tock.
UN human rights experts have condemned both the “use of physical violence against women” and “state-mandated internet disruption”.
“The disruption to the internet is usually part of a larger effort to stifle freedom of expression and curtail ongoing protests,” they said in a statement.
On Thursday, Iranian media said three militiamen “mobilized to deal with the rioters” were stabbed or shot dead in northwest Tabriz, central Qazbin and northeast Mashhad.
A fourth member of the security forces died in the southern city of Shiraz, the report said, adding that a protester was stabbed to death in Qazbin.
But fears the death toll could rise as Norway-based Kurdish rights group Hengaw reported on Wednesday the deaths of two protesters, aged 16 and 23, in West Azerbaijan province. had.
Iranian officials deny any involvement in the death of the protesters.
Amnesty International said it had documented the deaths of eight people – six men, one woman and one child – four of whom were shot at close range with metal pellets by security forces.
The protests are among Iran’s most serious since the November 2019 unrest over rising fuel prices.
The wave of unrest surrounding Amini’s death is “a very serious shock and a social crisis,” said David Rigrette Rose, an Iranian expert at the French Institute for International Strategic Studies.

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