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Iran protests spread, internet restricted

THE STORY: At least eight people have reportedly been killed in protests in Iran – after the death of a woman arrested for ‘inappropriately dressed’. Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old girl from Iranian Kurdistan, died in custody last week after being arrested by morality police. This sparked national outrage, and protests have spread to at least 50 cities in Iran and many major cities around the world. Rallies were held in Istanbul, Amsterdam, Berlin and Toronto. Women played a major role, waving and burning their veils, and some cutting their hair in public places and in videos posted online. Nassibe Shamsi is an Iranian woman living in Istanbul: 6957 “This is a revolution that started with the murder of a young Iranian woman and will not end easily. Many of my friends are in prison, or because of the headscarf Women are repressed in Iran.” Javad Dabiran, spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran – Berlin: 6597 “Iranian people don’t want dictatorship anymore. They openly oppose it. Meni, mullahs and kings. They want a republic based on the separation of religion and state. That’s why we’re here.” Protests in Iran show no signs of abating – authorities are now restricting access to the internet, according to NetBlocks access. Amini fell into a coma while being held by the ethics police — who enforce strict rules in Iran that require women to cover their hair and wear loose clothing in public. The circumstances surrounding the death remain unclear. Police have denied allegations she was assaulted, saying instead that she became ill while waiting with other women in custody. But her father said police were responsible for her death. The leadership of a top aide to Iran’s top official has offered condolences to the family and pledged to follow up on the case. Shamsi hopes that Iran will one day change: “Today, Iranian men and women together want to destroy the Islamic Republic forever. Women in Iran must be free and I want them to be liberated in Iranian society. And when women are liberated then The whole society will be liberated.” In Tehran on Wednesday, hundreds of people chanted “death to the dictator” at the University of Tehran. Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the video. The UN Human Rights Office has called for an impartial investigation into Amini’s death.