The messaging service WhatsApp denied this Thursday that its application had blocked phone numbers in Iran, after protests began in the country over the death of a young woman after an encounter with the morality police.
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old arrested for allegedly wearing the veil inappropriatelydied in the custody of the morality police.
Iranian authorities blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp on Thursday, after six days of protests over the death of a young woman detained by the morality police in which 17 people have died, according to the balance of a state media.
“By decision of the authorities, it is no longer possible to access Instagram in Iran since Wednesday night and access to WhatsApp is also interrupted,” the Fars news agency announced. Many users also complained that internet connections have slowed down. It is known that the authorities later blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp.
The measure was taken because “of the actions carried out by the counterrevolutionaries against national security through these social networks,” added Fars.
Instagram and WhatsApp are the most used applications in Iran after the blocking of platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Telegram, Twitter and Tiktok in recent years. In addition, internet access is largely filtered or restricted by the authorities.
In other parts of the country, protesters set fire to police vehicles and chanted slogans against power, according to the official Irna agency.
Police responded with tear gas and detained an unknown number of people, according to Iranian media.
On Thursday, authorities arrested two female photographers, Nilufar Hamedi of the reformist Shargh newspaper, and Yalda Moayeri, who works for the local press, as well as reformist activist Mohamad Réza Jalaipur, local media reported.
“No to the veil, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality!”, shouted the protesters in Tehran, in slogans that were echoed in acts of solidarity in New York or Istanbul.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Thursday from New York that the death of the young woman who sparked protests in his country will be investigated and accused the West of hypocrisy for fueling concerns.
“It will certainly be investigated,” Raisi told reporters at the United Nations, noting that official reports do not account for police abuses. The Iranian leader repeated a coroner’s conclusion that Mahsa Amini, 22, was not beaten, something protesters rejected.
This same Thursday, the United States announced economic sanctions on the Iranian morality police. From New York, where he is attending the 77th Assembly of the United Nations, US President Joe Biden expressed his solidarity with the “brave women” of Iran, after a defiant intervention by his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi.
The Treasury also imposed sanctions on Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, chief of the morale police, Haj Ahmad Mirzaei, head of the Tehran morale police division, and five other senior security officials involved in the crackdown on protesters. .
The Treasury sanctions are intended to freeze assets that the designees may have under US jurisdiction and prohibit any US individual or company, including international banks with operations in the country, from doing business with them, limiting their access to US networks. global financials.
US Treasury said morality police were ‘responsible’ for Amini’s death and based the sanctions on “the abuse and violence against Iranian women and the violation of the rights of peaceful Iranian protesters.”
Washington took the sanctions step after violent protests erupted across Iran. Women protesters burned veils and denounced the persecution they are subjected to by the government. (YO)