Iran protests: Tehran boasts of victory over 'enemies' – but internet chaos continues
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: “The Iranian nation achieved another victory in the recent historic test. "They demonstrated that even if they have some economic problems and some complaints about the country’s management, they will never play into the enemy’s hands." However, the country remains under internet blackout after protests left cities ablaze and potentially hundreds dead.
The exact scale of the uprising remains unclear because authorities blocked internet access to stop the use of social media to organise rallies and disseminate videos.Most Iranians remain cut off from the internet with human rights groups have condemning the government for the near-total internet shutdown.Human Rights Watch's Michael Page said: “By severing Iranians from global internet connectivity, the authorities are hoping to hide their bloody crackdown on their own people from the rest of the world.”Immediately after protests began, images posted on social media showed protestors storming banks, petrol station and government buildings and setting them ablaze.
Within a few hours, however, there were reports of "major drops" in connectivity in Tehran and other cities.According to CNN, the scale and technical complexity of this blackout is different and more advanced than previous attempts by the government.Social media posts have dramatically dropped since the blackout took full effect.The blackout makes it incredibly difficult to know what civilians are presently facing, said David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.READ MORE: Iran protests: Tehran BURNS as dozens dead in 107 cities
He told CNN: "Fundamentally, I don't think we have a very good sense of what's happening on the ground in Iran right now."The reporting has been spotty at best. We're starting to hear about the protests and the use of force against the protesters."The UN urged Iran to resume internet access and show restraint yesterday.Secretary General spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: "We have seen the reports of a significant death toll during recent protests in the Islamic Republic of Iran.DON'T MISS Iran blames US for weekend of violence and issues chilling warning [COMMENT]Iran news: How Trump tensions could spark fresh Putin row [INSIGHT] MI6 warning: Fears of WW3 as world more dangerous now than ever [LATEST]
"We echo the statement on Iran made by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday, including the call to immediately re-establish Iranians' access to the internet."The large-scale protests across Iran were triggered by a sharp rise in petrol prices over the weekend, with a 300 percent increase reported in some cases.Protests quickly spread out of Tehran and through the nation, with more than 100 towns and cities engulfed in the increasingly violent unrest as security forces met protestors with deadly force.On Tuesday, Iran's government begun rushing out promised payments to 60 million citizens, a sign that the regime has been spooked by the scale of protests.
But with less than four percent of normal internet connectivity remaining, evidence to back this up is minimal, and reports have been emerging of ongoing violence and a skyrocketing death toll.According to reports from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Internet access in Iran has now been almost entirely cut off in attempts to conceal the “scope of the uprising and the scale of it brutality".Amnesty International has documented at least 106 deaths in 21 cities across the country. Unconfirmed activist reports have put the death toll at 200.