Protests swept across at least 19 cities in Iran on Wednesday sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman detained last month by the country’s morality police, even as security forces targeted demonstrators in the streets, activists said.
The protests over the death of Mahsa Amini have become one of the greatest challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the country’s 2009 Green Movement. Demonstrators have included oil workers, high school students and women marching without their mandatory headscarf, or hijab.
Calls for protests beginning at noon Wednesday saw a massive deployment of riot police and plainclothes officers throughout Tehran and other cities, witnesses said and videos showed. Witnesses also described disruptions affecting their mobile internet services.
NetBlocks, an advocacy group, said that Iran’s internet traffic had dropped to some 25% compared to the peak, even during a working day in which students were in class across the country.