Iran Protest Videos Leaked Despite Internet Bans

Videos of riots and riots began flooding the internet as Iranian protesters flocked to the streets in response to the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman allegedly detained for wearing the hijab inappropriately.

Videos of students in Iran protesting against militias, along with women on the streets being kicked and shoved and protesters raising their fists as they march, have been widely circulated around the world, showing the country’s anger following the death. of Amini.

“If we don’t unite, they kill us one by one,” is one of the phrases that can be heard chanting during the protests.

Attempts to shut down the internet to prevent the world from seeing these videos have failed, despite the banning of popular social apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Skype and even Instagram, one of the last functional social media platforms.

In Iran, internet outages are common in times of unrest and protest. According to Amnesty International, the worst crackdown occurred in 2019, when more than 100 protesters were killed and the internet was cut off for 12 days.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed the United States and Israel, the country’s adversaries, for inciting the unrest in his first remarks on the countrywide protests on Monday. It’s a familiar tactic for Iran’s leaders, who have been wary of Western influence since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

American tech companies will be able to expand their business in Iran, the US Treasury Department said in September, authorizing tech companies to offer more social networking and collaboration platforms, video conferencing and cloud-based services. the Associated Press reported.

On Monday, US President Biden said in a statement that the US was making it easier for Iranians to access the internet, “including by facilitating greater access to secure external platforms and services.”

Through such avenues, access to the Internet means images and videos are surfacing from Iran despite interruptions and bans from social media.

Videos showed some of the Iranian protesters publicly cutting off strands of their hair in protests, a gesture that quickly spread around the world.

Images of women elsewhere cutting their hair to show solidarity with Iranian women have gone viral, from Turkish singer Melek Mosso on stage last week to women in Lebanon and Syria, to Swedish lawmaker Abir Al- Sahlani in the corridors of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. on Tuesday.

A museum in Rome is collecting locks of hair to present to the Iranian Embassy.

This highly symbolic gesture also echoes Iranian history and folklore in which women cutting their hair is a sign of protest. The Shahnameh (“The Book of Kings”), a national epic of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between 977 and 1010 AD. C., refers to a princess who cuts her hair to protest the death of her husband considered unfair. .

Oscar-winning actors Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, as well as other French stars of music and screen, filmed themselves cutting off strands of their hair in a video posted on Wednesday.

“For Liberty,” Binoche said as she cut a large strand of hair from the top of her head with scissors, before brandishing it at the camera.

With archives from The Associated Press and CNN

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