Iran restricts social media as hijab protests widen

Seven people have been killed as violent protests erupt across Iran after the death of a woman detained for failing to wear her hijab properly.

Iranian authorities restricted access to social media such as WhatsApp and Instagram on Thursday, the fifth day of widespread protests at the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old from Iranian Kurdistan who died last week after being arrested in Tehran for “unsuitable attire”.

Ms Amini was reportedly detained by morality police because some of her hair was showing from her loosely-styled hijab.

After being taken to a detention centre, Ms Amini was reportedly brutally beaten by officers, and sustained serious head injuries.

She spent three days in a coma before dying in a Tehran hospital on September 16.

Ms Amini’s death has unleashed anger over repressive conditions in the Islamic Republic, and an economy reeling from sanctions.

Women have waved and burnt their veils during protests, with some cutting their hair in public.

Since the country’s Islamic revolution in 1978, Iran’s laws state women above the age of nine must wear hijabs that cover their head, neck and hair, and cover their bodies in loose-fitting clothing.

This applies to all women who visit the country, regardless of nationality or religion.

Official punishments for failing the veiling laws can include arrest, a prison sentence, flogging or a fine, and Iran’s morality police have been known to enforce the rules with further physical violence.

The Iranian government expressed its intent to further crack down on the veiling laws earlier this month.

Videos showed women shouting “death to the dictator”, in reference to the nation’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

 

Source: Iran restricts social media as hijab protests widen

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