Protests in Iran spread to 50 cities, internet curbed
Human rights groups and authorities in Iran said the death toll in protests over a young woman who was killed after detention by the morality party rose to 10, as authorities cut the internet to curb riots.
Protests mainly focused in Iran’s Kurdistan region but thousands of people in 50 cities joined the demonstrations every day since Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish 22 year old woman was taken into custody by the morality police whose hair was showing under her hijab.
While the Iranian officials alleged that she fell into a coma following her arrest because of a heart attack and brain seizure, her brother said that she was carried out of the police station shortly after screams were heard from inside, and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. Her father said she had bruises in her legs. Amini’s funeral will be held on Saturday.
Iranian media said eight people were killed including a police officer and a pro-government militia during the five day protests but Kurdish human rights group Hengaw said 10 protestors were killed.
The protests led by women who could be seen burning their veils and cutting their hair in public, were the largest since a wave of demonstrations in 2019 over gasoline price rises, when over 1500 people died in clashes between the police and the protestors.
A woman cuts her hair in the main square in Kerman, #Iran as protesters shout “Death to the dictator.”#Mahsa_Amin #MahsaAmini #IranProtests2022 #IranProtests #مهسا_امینی #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/xZ7K1g2Tkr— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) September 21, 2022
As the crowds in the streets continued to grow, authorities restricted access to social media, according to internet shutdown observatory NetBlocks.
"Iran is now subject to the most severe internet restrictions since the November 2019 massacre," NetBlocks said.
WhatsApp users could only send text, while access to the internet had been severely cut in Kurdistan province.