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Internet turmoil reported in southeastern Iran amid anxiety

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s poor southeastern region is experiencing significant disruption of Internet services as anxiety seizes remote areas after a deadly border shooting, experts say. Stated.

In a joint statement, several rights groups reported that authorities had closed mobile data networks in the peaceful states of Sistan and Balchester, revealing the turmoil as a clear “hide” of the government’s crackdown on protests that upset the region. I called it a “tool for”.

Reports of Internet interference are coming as Iranian authorities and semi-official news agencies increasingly acknowledge the turmoil that challenges local governments in the southeast. This is a very delicate issue for a country trying to curb all the signs of political objection.

Starting Wednesday, the government has shut down mobile data networks in Sistan and Balchester, destroying key communication tools, with 96% of the population accessing the Internet only by phone, according to rights groups.

After four days of unidentified “localized regional network disruption” in protest, NetBlocks, which monitors Internet access around the world, confirmed a new disruption to the state’s Internet connection from the end of Saturday.

“This is Iran’s traditional response to all sorts of protests,” Mian Group’s Amir Rashidi, a human rights group focused on digital security in the Middle East, told The Associated Press on Saturday. “Shutdown the Internet to prevent news and photo leaks, and (authorities) will be able to fire more comfortably.”

This week there was a series of intensifying conflicts between police and protesters. A crowd of lightly armed and grenade launchers have landed at the Klin checkpoint near the border between Iran and Pakistan, in a comment from Iran’s semi-official ISNA press, said Abzar Medinahaier, governor of the state capital, Zahedan. Stated. The violence killed one police officer, he added.

Earlier this week, protesters attacked the district governor’s office, resented the shooting of a fuel smuggler returning from Pakistan to Iran on Monday, and attacked two police stations in the city of Saraban. At least two people were killed in the border shootings and subsequent clashes, according to the government. Many rights activists in the area reported high deaths without presenting evidence.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has vowed to investigate the dead on Friday. Authorities claimed that calm had returned to the streets.

The Iranian government has traditionally blocked Internet access and mobile phone services during tense times. For example, in the fall of 2019, Iran imposed a near-national internet power outage as anti-government protests triggered by rising fuel prices struck the capitals of Tehran and other cities. Hundreds of people were reportedly killed in a national crackdown.

Mahsa Alimardani, a researcher at Article 19, an international organization that fights censorship, said the turmoil would not appear in regular network data, given that authorities targeted mobile networks rather than landlines in Sistan and Balchester. Said. The area was already plagued by unreliable internet connections.

“This targeted shutdown was very intentional because we knew the reality of the state where people were poor and used cheap phones instead of computers,” said Alimardani.

Sistan and Balchester are one of Iran’s most volatile and underdeveloped regions. The relationship between its predominantly Sunni population and Iran’s Shiite theocracy has long been plagued. The low-level violent rebellions in Sistan and Balchester involve several militant groups, including groups demanding more autonomy in the region.

The region is also on the main trafficking route for drugs and gasoline, and is heavily subsidized in Iran, making it a major source of income for smugglers.

Internet turmoil reported in southeastern Iran amid anxiety

Source link Internet turmoil reported in southeastern Iran amid anxiety

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