Iran Cracks Down On Protesters With Another Internet Blackout

Iranians face another major disruption of internet service as nationwide protests continue over the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish citizen Mahsa Amini in police custody.

Amini’s death in September was widely believed to be at the hands of the nation’s infamous morality police. It sparked a sweeping outcry not seen in the Islamic Republic in decades, and at least 419 people have been killed in the regime’s violent crackdown on protesters.

NetBlocks, which monitors internet connectivity around the globe, confirms that the country is experiencing yet another widespread disconnection of service.

Many attribute this to protests, which have been most intense in Iran’s western provinces where most of its 10 million Kurds reside.

Mahsa Amini died in a Tehran hospital on Sept. 16 after being arrested for allegedly not wearing her hijab in the manner required by the religious government. The Guidance Police, or “morality police,” said she suffered a cardiac incident, but that claim is widely disbelieved.

Her death came three days after her arrest, and she was reportedly in a coma while hospitalized. This tragedy sparked national outrage that has been ongoing for over two months.

The Islamic Republic responded with force, and there have been multiple instances of internet service being disrupted by the government.

The unrest has even spread to the World Cup being held in Qatar.

Despite the lack of internet connectivity in large parts of the nation, there’s no doubt Iranians felt the sting of Tuesday’s 6-2 World Cup humiliation by England.

The state-run news agency trumpeted the national team as “soldiers fighting to uplift their country. That didn’t last long.

The country’s hard-line media outlets blamed the defeat on the protests gripping the nation as well as “domestic and foreign-based traitors.” As the game was being played on Monday, Iranian forces riddled protesters in a Kurdish town with deadly gunfire.

Iranian fans in the stands chanted Amini’s name, held commemorative signs, and wore clothing emblazoned with protest slogans. Some booed during the presentation of the national anthem, and Iranian players reportedly did not join in the song.