Iran’s Islamic government is reportedly cutting off internet access following widespread anti-regime protests.
As The Daily Wire reported on Monday, the Iranian province of Khuzestan has experienced worsening energy and water shortages over the past several weeks. Along with the BBC, Masih Alinejad — an Iranian-American journalist who was nearly kidnapped in the United States several weeks ago by Iranian forces — characterized the protests as “anti-regime demonstrations.”
Days after the protests made international news, Iranian officials allegedly began restricting internet access.
Al Jazeera reports:
Sporadic internet slowdowns or blackouts have been reported across the province for several days. Despite the internet restrictions, numerous videos have come out of several counties in Khuzestan in the past week, in many of which shots can be heard and tear gas is seen being used. In some videos, protesters can be seen venting angrily at baton-wielding security forces clad in black, riding motorcycles in large numbers.
According to Al Jazeera, at least three civilians have died and several police officers have been wounded.
Alinejad also pointed to the regime as the source of the outages.
“Islamic Republic of Iran has shut down the internet in #Khuzestan where the regime killed several people protesting for water,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “Last time they shut down the internet, they killed more than 1500 protesters in Nov 2019’s #IranProtests. What are they going to do now?”
1-Islamic Republic of Iran has shut down the internet in #Khuzestan where the regime killed several people protesting for water. Last time they shut down the internet, they killed more than 1500 protesters in Nov 2019's #IranProtests. What are they going to do now? pic.twitter.com/xqUMXKQFdS
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) July 21, 2021
She also slammed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for permitting Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to use the platform: “I hereby ask @Twitter, @jack: Why would you let @khamenei_ir and other regime officials tweet freely while they shut down internet to kill ordinary people? Why should social media like @twitter help empower dictators and murderers? #Khuzestan’s people need urgent attention.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Wire reported that the Cuban government — also seeking to suppress a wave of anti-regime protests — is restricting internet access on the island.
Newsweek explained that the communist government relied upon Chinese-made technology systems to do so:
A report by the Institute For War & Peace Reporting released last December noted that Etesca, the sole company in Cuba that provides internet access, has three primary technology providers that are all Chinese: Huawei, TP-Link, and ZTE.
Another report in 2017 by the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), a global internet censorship watchdog, found traces of Chinese codes in both the surface and the interfaces used for wi-fi access portals in Cuba.
The Institute For War & Peace Reporting revealed that the Cuban government blocked Change.org — a site through which users can sign petitions — in 2019 during a “constitutional referendum when activists campaigning for a ban on ideological discrimination in universities used the platform to make their voices heard.”
The Biden administration is preparing to “bring in measures to help residents get access to the internet during the uprising against the government,” according to a report from the Daily Mail.
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