Iran: US eases internet restrictions to support protesters

Iran: US eases internet restrictions to support protesters
Iran: US eases internet restrictions to support protesters

The US Treasury Department said today, Friday, that the decision comes in response to Iranian authorities “choking off” internet access in the country to disrupt protests and “prevent people from watching the violent suppression of peaceful protesters».

“With these changes, we are helping the Iranian people to be better equipped to counter the government’s efforts to monitor and censor them,” said Deputy Finance Minister Wali Antegemo.

Specifically, exemptions from sanctions are being extended to social media platforms, video conferencing and cloud services, as well as “anti-censorship tools and related software”.

Earlier this week, the US government also imposed new sanctions on Iran’s morality police over Amini’s death and subsequent crackdown on protests.

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenwelcomed the finance ministry’s updated permission, accusing Iran of “violently suppressing peaceful protesters” angry over the 22-year-old’s death.

“In the face of these steps, we will help to ensure that the Iranian people are not left isolated and in the dark. This is a concrete step in providing meaningful support to Iranians demanding that their basic rights be respected,” Blinken said in a statement.

Protests rage – At least 50 protesters dead

Protests are raging in many parts of the country and the dead are now at least 50according to the latest report released by the Non-Governmental Organization Iran Human Rights, based in Norway.

Iranian authorities are escalating the extreme repression with mass arrests protesters, journalists who highlighted the case of the 22-year-old’s state murder, activists, students, writers and academics.

THE campaign of arbitrary arrests intensified yesterday, Thursday, after the “green light” given by the head of the judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseny-Ezei, to the “preventive arrest” policy for the immediate future.

“Individuals who damaged public and government property, defrauded the police or had connections with foreign espionage agencies must be treated without any mercy,” warned Mohseni-Ezei.

Iranian security forces have arrested one of Iran’s best-known militant members of civil society, as well as a journalist who played a key role in uncovering the death of Mahsha Amini.

Among those arrested and Niloufar Hamedione journalist of Tehran who had gone to the hospital where Makhsa Amini was in a coma and contributed to mobilizing global public opinion about her fate, announced via Telegram the Shargh newspaper for which the journalist works.

THE photojournalist Yalda Moairi was also arrested this week while covering protests in Tehran, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Thursday, calling for the release of all journalists arrested for covering the case.

Another militant member of civil society, Mr Hossein Ronagi, for his part, he managed to escape from the police who came to arrest him at his home while he was giving an interview to the London-based Iran International channel.

Follow Up Iran, a new activist group documenting the plight of detainees, has shared a first list of the names of those known to have been detained. Between them 20 university students, 11 well-known women’s rights activists and nine political activists.

At the same time, many families of prisoners will not want to release their details for fear of further reprisals.

State counter-demonstrations in favor of the headscarf

Thousands of people took to the streets in Iran today in response to a call by the authorities to defend the Islamic headscarf and denounce the “mercenaries” they claim are inciting and participating in the Mahsha Amini protests.

In Tehran, hundreds of people including women wearing chadors demonstrated holding Islamic Republic flags and banners of support and thanks to the forces of order, according to state television.

Iranian authorities decided to hold their own protests after Friday prayers.EPA/ ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

“Death to the conspirators”, “The end of the headscarf, this is the policy of the Americans”, were some slogans.

The Friday prayer imam called for the protesters to be punished “with the weapon of the law.”

Praising “the efforts and sacrifices of the police”, the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic, assured for their part that the recent “conspiracy of the enemy” is “doomed to fail”.

The article is in Greek

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