Iran: a repression behind closed doors

The authorities blocked the telephone and internet networks while demonstrations and clashes do not weaken after the death of Mahsa Amini. According to an NGO, 31 demonstrators were killed.

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“The mobile network and the Internet were cut for most of the day. Whatever the Iran region, hence you hear less votes, know that the clashes between the population and the forces of the Order are more intense. “This call for help from an Iranian activist, launched Thursday, September 22 on social networks, sums up the concern that reigns in the country, now subject to a blockage of telephone and Internet networks by the authorities. In the evening, demonstrations and clashes took over, against a backdrop of security forces and descents in the protests. Even in residential buildings.

In the morning, demonstrators in Tehran and other Iranian cities had burned positions and police vehicles, while the indignation aroused by the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian arrested for a veil deemed badly adjusted By religious police and dead during his police custody, does not seem to want to calm down. A week after his death, the authorities therefore hardened their internet censorship more, blocking several of the rare Western services still accessible in the country.

According to Netblock, specializing in blocking monitoring, the country is now subject to the most severe restrictions since the bloody repression of the November 2019 demonstrations, which had killed hundreds. Netblock noted the implementation of new blockages, notably targeting Instagram and WhatsApp applications, whose access is now very strongly disturbed in the country. Significant blockages have also affected the networks of the main mobile operators, and localized cuts of internet access were observed, in particular in Sanandaj, the capital of the Iranian province of Kurdistan, and in Tehran during the demonstrations.

censure bypass

Before the start of the demonstrations, Iran was already one of the countries most restricting Internet access. Facebook, Twitter or YouTube have been inaccessible there for several years – even if some regime executives, including Ayatollah Khamenei, have accounts on Twitter . Telegram messaging is also blocked. The main social network used in the country was, until this week, Instagram, tolerated by the State.

After several years of blocking, Iranians have used to use censorship bypass, such as virtual private networks, which allow them to access applications and sites blocked by suppliers Internet access. Several Instagram accounts have disseminated in recent days images of demonstrations and police violence filmed by witnesses.

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/Media reports.