Major disruption to internet service in Iran: monitor

Members of the Iranian community living in Turkey attend a protest in support of Iranian women, after the death of Mahsa Amini, in Istanbul, Turkey, on Nov. 19.UMIT BEKTAS/Reuters

A major disruption in internet service in Iran was confirmed by the NetBlocks internet monitor on Monday, raising fears among rights groups of a cut-off in internet access to help crush anti-government unrest in Kurdish-populated regions.

The nationwide protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September in the custody of morality police, have been at their most intense in western provinces where the majority of Iran’s 10 million Kurds live.

NetBlocks, which tracks connectivity around the world, tweeted that mobile internet was cut off for many users in Iran amid a new wave of protests and reports of casualties.

Several videos shared on social media on Monday showed crowds fleeing live bullets shot by security forces, with footage in the Kurdish-populated city of Javanrud showing people taking cover behind a wall, attending to one injured man and seeking to retrieve the body of a dead protest lying on the street.

Hengaw, a Kurdish Iranian rights group, shared a video on Monday of security forces being dispatched to the Kurdish cities of Mahabad and Bukan in dozens of pickups, motorbikes, police cars and one light armored vehicle painted black.

Reuters could not verify the videos.

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