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Iran protests grow, with a rising death toll due to internet restrictions

Rising death tolls were claimed by Iranian authorities and a Kurdish rights organisation on Wednesday as protests continued for a fifth day and new social media restrictions were implemented in response to the death of a lady who was held by the morality police.


The dead toll has risen to eight according to official sources, including a police officer and a member of a pro-government militia, according to Iranian media and a local prosecutor.


The protests started after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who was detained in Tehran for ‘unsuitable dress,’ passed away while in custody last week.


The protests are the biggest since a wave of demonstrations in 2019 over fuel price increases, and they were centred in Iran’s Kurdish-populated northern provinces before spreading to at least 50 cities and towns nationally.


Reuters was unable to confirm reports from the Kurdish rights organisation Hengaw that said 10 protestors had died. In addition to the seven persons who the group said had been slain by security forces, three more perished on Wednesday.


Officials have refuted claims that security personnel murdered protestors, speculating instead that the victims may have been assailants with guns.


According to reports from Hengaw residents, as well as the internet shutdown watchdog NetBlocks, officials reportedly limited internet access when there was no sign that the protests were abating.


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