Iran: Internet Shutdowns Curb Protests and Conceal Human Rights Violations in Sistan and Baluchistan

The near total Internet shutdowns began as protests got underway on Tuesday, 23 February 2021 after reports and videos surfaced indicating that the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps had opened fire with live ammunition at a group of unarmed civilian fuel porters near the border city of Saravan in Sistan and Baluchistan province, killing at least 10 people including a child. As of Wednesday, 24 February, at 9 pm local time, we have been following reports of the systematic shutdowns of mobile carriers across Sistan and Baluchistan.

The Iranian authorities must immediately stop imposing a near total Internet shutdown in Sistan and Baluchistan and ensure that people can access the Internet freely and securely. They must also end their unlawful use of excessive and lethal force against protesters and ensure that the right of people to peaceful assembly is guaranteed in law and practice.

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