DUBAI, Nov 21 (Reuters) – A major disruption in internet service in Iran was confirmed by the NetBlocks internet monitor on Monday, raising fears among rights groups of a cut-off in internet access to help crush anti-government unrest in Kurdish-populated regions.
⚠️ Confirmed: Network traffic data show a major disruption to internet service in #Iran as mobile internet is cut off for many users; the incident comes amid a wave of new protests over the death of #MahsaAmini and reports of casualties ?
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) November 21, 2022
The nationwide protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September in the custody of morality police, have been at their most intense in western provinces where the majority of Iran‘s 10 million Kurds live.
NetBlocks, which tracks connectivity around the world, tweeted that mobile internet was cut off for many users in Iran amid a new wave of protests and reports of casualties.
Several videos shared on social media on Monday showed crowds fleeing live bullets shot by security forces, with footage in the Kurdish-populated city of Javanrud showing people taking cover behind a wall, attending to one injured man and seeking to retrieve the body of a dead protester lying on the street.
Hengaw, a Kurdish Iranian rights group, shared a video on Monday of security forces being dispatched to the Kurdish cities of Mahabad and Bukan in dozens of pickups, motorbikes, police cars and one light armoured vehicle painted black.
Reuters could not verify the videos.
(Reporting by Dubai NewsroomEditing by David Goodman, William Maclean)