Iran in 'nation-scale shutdown' of mobile networks, Instagram, WhatsApp amid deadly crackdown

Iran in 'nation-scale shutdown' of mobile networks, Instagram, WhatsApp amid deadly crackdown
2 min read
22 September, 2022
Iran has restricted internet and mobile network access across the country, as protests following the death of Mahsa Amini continue.

Iran has restricted internet access across the country as its deadly crackdown on activists and protests continues.

Social media platforms Instagram and WhatsApp were restricted nationally from Wednesday as a "nation-scale shutdown of mobile networks" followed, according to global internet monitor NetBlocks.

This comes following the killing of at least 11 people as Iranian security forces crackdown on protesters angry over the death of Mahsa Amini, who died on Friday after allegedly being beaten by the country’s morality police.

The 22-year-old woman was detained by police last week for allegedly wearing her headscarf in an "improper" way.

"Iran is now subject to the most severe internet restrictions since the November 2019 massacre," NetBlocks tweeted on Wednesday, after confirming that real-time network data showed a "nation-scale loss of connectivity".

Rights groups, including Amnesty International, have condemned the deadly crackdown by security forces and called for "urgent global action" in the country.

"Iranian protesters are violently quashing largely peaceful protests sparked by Mahsa Amini's death," Amnesty said in a statement on Wednesday, stating they collected evidence of security forces' unlawful methods to disperse protesters.

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The rights group said authorities used birdshot, metal pellets, teargas, water cannon, and batons against protesters.

International concern following the Iranian crackdown has also grown, with US President Biden being among those commenting on the current happenings.

"Today we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights," Biden told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

Iran's hard-line president Ebrahim Raisi also struck a defiant tone at the UN summit on Wednesday by decrying "double standards" on human rights following Amini’s death.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran rejects some of the double standards of some governments vis-a-vis human rights," Raisi said. "(So long as) we have this double standard where attention is solely focused on one side and not all equally, we will not have true justice and fairness”.

"Human rights belong to all, but unfortunately it is trampled upon by many governments."

Iranian authorities have denied any involvement in the deaths of protesters.