In the midst of widespread protests against the government murder of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, Minister of Communications Isa Zarepour said on Wednesday, September 21st, on the sidelines of the government board meeting that internet access in Iran may be disrupted for security reasons.
Zarepour denied that the bandwidth has been reduced in Iran and said: “Given the security issues and discussions that are currently in the country, Internet restrictions may be decided and applied by the security apparatus.”
Yesterday, on the fourth day of the protests, the government limited, and in some parts, cut off the internet in cities and areas where people have come to the streets in protest. These disruptions have been widely reported in the Kurdistan province, Mahsa’s home region.
So far, internet disruptions and restrictions have been reported in the entire Kurdistan province and in various cities where protests are taking place, including other major cities such as Tehran, Rasht and Mashhad.
Mahsa (Zhina) Amini was a 22-year old Kurdish woman who died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. Protests began on Friday, September 16th, after Mahsa’s death in front of Kasra hospital in Tehran and followed after her funeral in her hometown of Saqqez. Since Monday, September 19th, protests against the government murder of Mahsa Amini have spread to different parts of Iran, from Tehran to Bandar Abbas, from Mashhad to Qom and are ongoing.
Mahsa’s murder has caused a significant amount of international outrage. On Tuesday, September 20th, Anonymous hackers’ collective announced the start of a cyber operation against the Islamic Republic and till now, has succeeded in temporarily taking down a few government websites in Iran, including the Iran central bank website.