Iran anti-hijab protests: Journalists arrested, internet restricted

As a result of the nationwide protests that followed the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian morality police detainee, several activists and journalists have been detained by Iranian police.

Mahsa Amini, 22, who was in the morality police’s custody for wearing the hijab in a “improper manner”—that is, not completely covering her hair—fell into a coma and passed away.

Amini passed away on Friday, September 16, after falling at a detention facility and into a coma shortly after.

The protests started on Saturday, September 17, at Amini’s funeral in the Kurdish region, and they are currently going on in much of the country. As the security forces tried to put an end to the protests, there were clashes.


Hundreds of detainees

According to the Tasnim News Agency, there were reports of widespread arrests, and General Azizullah Maliki, the police chief of the province of Gilan, declared that 739 rioters, including 60 women, had been detained there.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, based in the United States, reported the detention of 11 journalists since Monday, including Niloofar Hamedi of the reformist Sharq newspaper, who covered Amini’s death. Security agents also detained a number of activists and journalists.

The journalist Niloofar’s Twitter account was reportedly suspended prior to his detention. Whether Niloofer’s handle was suspended at the behest of the Iranian government or for some other reason is not yet evident. Niloofer’s detention has sparked a nationwide crackdown by Iranian security forces on other demonstrators.

RELATED: Iranian women remove headscarves in protest at Mahsa Amini’s funeral

Yalda Moayeri, a prominent female photographer, was detained on September 20 in Tehran and taken to the Qarchak prison in the southern part of the city.

Following their articles on Mahsa Amini’s passing and their coverage of the protests in Iran, Masoud Kordpur, the editor of the Mukrian news agency, and his brother Khosro were also detained.

Conflicting numbers of dead

Regarding the numbers of victims, the authorities have not yet announced the death toll, and there are conflicting unofficial numbers, ranging from 35 to 50 people.

The arrests of journalists Marzieh Talaee and Khatibzadeh were also reported by Hengaw human rights organizations.

Restricting internet

The arrests of journalists Marzieh Talaee and Khatibzadeh were also reported by Hengaw human rights organizations.

RELATED: Interview with Iran prez cancelled for refusing to wear headscarf: CNN’s Christiane Amanpour

More repression after internet blocking

Amnesty International warned, late Friday, of “the risk of more bloodshed amid a deliberate blocking of the Internet.”

Amnesty said the evidence it collected from 20 cities across Iran “reveals a horrific pattern of the repeated and unlawful direct shooting of protesters”.

In an effort to disperse the protesters’ gathering and stop footage of the repression from reaching the outside world, Iran has put harsh regulations on internet use.

In order to increase access to internet services, the US stated on Friday that it has loosened its limitations on technology export to Iran.

The new measures “will assist offset the Iranian government’s activities and oversight of its citizenry,” according to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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