Tehran, Sep 27 (EFE).- Iranian authorities have curbed Internet access and detained journalists and activists in an effort to silence the protests that have spread throughout the country in the last 11 days over the death of Mahsa Amini.
Amini’s death while being held in police custody for allegedly not wearing her hijab in accordance with the country’s strict Islamic dress code has sparked a historic wave of protests in the country to demand more freedom.
Rare social outbursts in previous years were mainly focused on economic issues.
According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 20 journalists have been detained since the protests started on September 16 — the day that Amini died.
Among the detained is Nilufar Hamedi, one of the first journalists to report about Amini’s case for the progressive journal Shargh Daily. She is reportedly being held in solitary confinement.
Well-known photojournalist Yalda Moaiery, who was arrested during the first days of the protests, is now locked up in Qarchak Prison, the CPJ reported.
Other important activists like Maryam Karimbeigi, Hossein Ronagh and Golrokh Iriyaei have also been detained.
In addition to the repression from the security forces, the government is also shutting down the Internet during the afternoon and nighttime periods, when the protests happen.
Social media platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp have now been blocked, adding to the list of banned apps like Facebook and Twitter, which were already banned in the country.
VPN access to such sites, commonly used by Iranians, is also failing to connect.
The government’s near total control of media in the country means journalists are struggling to get an accurate picture of the situation on the ground.
The number of casualties remains undisclosed.
Two days ago, state-run media reported that 41 people had died, but clarified that it was not an official count.
However, crowds of young protesters continue to pour out onto the streets of Tehran, Yazd and Tabriz, among other cities, to chant “Woman, Life, Freedom,” the slogan used repeatedly in the demonstrations.
In Tehran’s most wealthy neighborhoods, in the north of the city, people at night are shouting from their windows “Death to the dictator”. EFE