Hours after authorities mobilized counter-demonstrations, protests erupted in Iran for an eighth consecutive night on Friday in response to the murder of a young woman detained by the morality police, according to verified social media accounts.
More than 3 times the official death records of 17, which includes five security officers, an institution with its base in Oslo called Iran Human Rights claimed that 50 to 55 individuals had been slain by security forces during the anti-government demonstrations.
The government should “act decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and calm,” according to President Ebrahim Raisi.
The killing of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd who had spent three days in a coma after being detained by the morality police in Tehran, set off the street violence, which according to IHR, has extended to 80 towns and cities.
The police department that upholds the nation’s mandatory dress standards, including the requirement to cover one’s head in public, detained Mahsa Amini on the 13th of September in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Critics contend that she was physically beaten while in custody on suspicion of disobeying the hijab rule, even though authorities claim she passed away on the 16th of September from a heart attack while in custody.
After dusk, barely hours after the government-sponsored rallies dispersed, a verified video on social media showed massive throngs of protesters assembling in several Tehran neighborhoods.
Armed anti-riot police or militia members confronted several of them.
Iran has put stringent regulations on internet usage to prevent protesters from gathering and to halt the flow of photographs of the backlash reaching the outside world.
Days after SpaceX owner Elon Musk indicated he would seek an exemption from sanctions to sell his company’s Starlink satellite service in the Islamic republic, the United States said on Friday that it was loosening export restrictions on Iran to boost internet services.
The increased limitations will “help resist the Iranian government’s efforts to surveil and censor its citizens,” per the Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
He continued, “It is obvious that the Iranian government is terrified of its own people.”
In response to protests following the murder of a woman in police custody last week, Iran restricted access to Instagram and WhatsApp social media platforms.
Additionally, there were widespread reports of significant internet failures, with one of the prominent mobile phone companies being interrupted and taking millions of Iranians offline.
Additionally, the leading mobile phone carrier in Iran and another company’s network experienced a “nation-scale loss of connectivity,” according to NetBlocks.
Hours after Instagram’s services were disabled, various internet service providers affected WhatsApp’s servers, according to London-based NetBlocks.
According to the organization’s data, internet connectivity has been almost completely cut off in several areas of the western Iranian province of Kurdistan since Monday, the 19th of September. And on Friday, when protests initially started, there were interruptions in Tehran and other parts of the nation.
Without internet connectivity, it became more difficult for people to upload videos to social media to garner support for their cause or find trustworthy news sources.
At opposition protests organized by the government on Friday in Tehran and other cities, thousands of people demonstrated favor of the hijab.
Iran’s Mehr news agency reported that “the vast Iranian people’s demonstration condemning the conspirators and the sacrileges against Islam.”
State television showed footage of black chador-clad protesters for the hijab in central Tehran, including both men and women.
How long till justice is served?
According to social media videos showing protestors bleeding excessively, the government has retaliated with live bullets, pellet guns, and tear gas, according to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
A “curfew-style pattern of disturbances” has been observed in the restriction of internet access, according to the online monitoring service NetBlocks.
According to NetBlocks, online platforms remain constrained, and connectivity is patchy for many users since mobile internet was disrupted for a third day on Friday.
According to Iran’s Fars news agency, actions were taken in response to “the operations carried out via these social networks by counter-revolutionaries against national security.”
At a press conference in New York, where he was participating in the UN General Assembly, President Ebrahim Raisi remarked on Thursday: “We must distinguish between demonstrators and vandalism.”
The disturbance occurs at a delicate moment for the government because the Iranian economy is still struggling due to US sanctions over its nuclear program.