We're horrified at reports that the security forces have killed dozens of protesters in Iran, hundreds injured & over 1,000 arrested since Friday (November 14), says Amnesty International (AI), adding, "We're alarmed that authorities have shut down the internet to create an information blackout of their brutal crackdown. We're investigating."
An overnight decision last Friday to a threefold-increase in gasoline prices in Iran has triggered a series of anti-Islamic establishment protests that gained momentum since then.
Based on official reports, the Islamic Republic security forces have killed tens of protesters, injuring hundreds and arresting thousands more. Some estimates speak of nearly 100 killed.
"The authorities have shut down the internet to create an information blackout of their brutal crackdown," Amnesty International reiterated in a tweet.
The Islamic Republic Minister of Communication, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, has admitted that the Internet in Iran is not disrupted, but "shut down," to the extent that he also could not use it.
Nevertheless, the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif still have access to the internet, using it for publishing their points of views.
The internet blackout started last Saturday evening and continued through Tuesday, according to internet watchdogs. Oracle's Internet Intelligence called it the "largest internet shutdown ever observed in Iran."
The U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, condemned the shutdown of the internet in Iran and urged the large tech companies to support the people of Iran and help to restore their access.
"We condemn the attempted shutdown of the internet. Let them speak!" U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus also said on Twitter on Sunday, November 17.
NetBlocks says that each day of blocking the internet in Iran will cause nearly $370 million in damages to the country.