Protests in Iran don't stop - massive disruption to the Internet

Several dead
"We fight, we die": protests in Iran don't stop - massive disruption to the Internet

Protests in Tehran, the capital of Iran, here on September 19

Protests in Tehran, the capital of Iran, here on September 19

© SalamPix/ABACA/ / Picture Alliance

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini continues to spark protests and riots in Iran. She was arrested by the vice squad a week ago because of her "un-Islamic outfit". Iranian anger is now directed at the Islamic Republic.

Women tear off their headscarves and burn them. Men engage in street battles with the police. The protests in Iran currently have no end.

Reason for the demonstrations and uprisings: the Death 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She was arrested by the vice squad a week ago because of her "un-Islamic outfit". What exactly happened to Amini after her arrest is unclear. She fell into a coma and died in a hospital last Friday.

The Morality Police are accused of using violence. The police firmly deny the allegations. According to the police, Amini had a heart attack. According to human rights activists, she suffered a fatal blow to the head.

Several people die in protests in Iran

The protests against the violence of the vice squad have now turned into a conflagration in Iran directed against the country's government. However, with a fatal outcome for the demonstrators.

According to authorities and observers, at least eight people died in the demonstrations by Wednesday.

Two other demonstrators, aged 16 and 23, were killed on Wednesday night, according to the Norway-based Kurdish human rights group Hengaw. The exact circumstances could not initially be checked.

According to previous information from the Iranian authorities, six people had died since the protests began on Friday evening. According to Hengaw, a total of around 450 people were injured and 500 people arrested during the demonstrations.

"No to the headscarf, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality"

According to the state news agency IRNA, demonstrations took place in 15 cities on Wednesday night, including Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz. The demonstrators blocked traffic, threw stones at security forces, set police vehicles and garbage cans on fire. the police broke up gatherings of up to 1000 people.

During the demonstrations, women took off the headscarves prescribed by the authorities and burned them as a sign of protest. Others cut their hair, according to videos posted online, the authenticity of which could not be verified. The protesters chanted slogans like "Death to the Dictator", "Woman, Life, Freedom" and "No to the headscarf, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality".

In addition to the slogans critical of the government, more and more people shouted: "We're fighting, we're dying, we're going to take Iran back." Even in the arch-conservative city and the Shiite center of Qom, young people demonstrated against the Islamic dress codes. Protests were also reported on the holiday island of Kish in the Persian Gulf, which is considered to be particularly quiet.

Criticism also from politics

As one of the last free social networks, Instagram was also severely restricted. Live metrics showed disruptions at all major Iranian internet providers, the organization Netblocks reported on Wednesday. The Internet itself is also massively restricted. Mobile networks are "largely switched off", according to Netblocks.

Meanwhile, there were also increasing numbers of politicians calling for the strict dress code to be relaxed and the government to change course. "A law that the majority of society does not follow must be revised," said former mayor of the capital Tehran, Gholam Hussein Karbaschi. Former President Mohammed Chatami had also expressed criticism. Even the grandson of the founder of the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, expressed criticism and called for a thorough investigation.

According to experts from Tehran, the strict dress code is one of the ideological principles of the Islamic Republic. Supporters of the system fear a domino effect should the state Women make big concessions in the choice of clothing. The conservative newspaper Keyhan accused the reformers of using Amini's death for political purposes.

"They want the end of the Islamic Republic"

David Rigoulet-Roze, Iran expert and researcher at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (Iris), spoke of a "shock" and "social crisis" in Iran. The country is divided between supporters of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and an increasingly secularized society, he told AFP. The entire social model is being called into question. "The authorities do not know how to deal with the movement," said the scientist.

The German-Iranian journalist Shahrzad Osterer explained "Deutschlandfunk Nova" on the protests and the demonstrators: "They want the end of the Islamic Republic. The greatest danger for the regime now is the continuity of the protests. Even if they can put down the protests once, people will soon be back on the streets." You believe that the system can no longer keep up.

Iran has had strict dress codes since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In the big cities in particular, many women now see the rules as rather relaxed and, for example, only wear their headscarves on the back of their heads – to the annoyance of ultra-conservative politicians. Religious hardliners in parliament have been trying for months to have Islamic laws applied more strictly.


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