Umamah Bakharia | firstname.lastname@example.org
22 September 2022 | 10:30am CAT
Iran has halted the use of social media platforms such as Whatsapp and Instagram amid ongoing protests that erupted after a woman died in police custody, according to residents and internet watchdog NetBlocks.
This has left millions of Iranians offline.
Last week 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in police custody after she was arrested by ‘morality police’ in Tehran for “unsuitable attire” regarding her headscarf.
Amini died in Tehran on Friday after suffering a stroke and several heart attacks while in the custody of Iran’s so-called morality police for her “improper” hijab. However, Iranian authorities have denied any allegations of mistreatment or beating of Amini, citing Amini had pre-existing conditions that contributed to her death. Her family has rejected these claims.
This has evoked anger on issues including freedom in the Islamic Republic and an economy that is reeling from sanctions.
Iranian media sources say at least six protesters have now been killed, as well as a police officer and a pro-government militia member.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Rights Office has called for an independent investigation of Amini’s death.
According to Al Jazeerah, two residents in Tehran and southern Iran say they could only send texts and not pictures on WhatsApp and that Instagram appeared to be completely blocked.