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International Federation Of Journalists Condemns Internet Shutdown In Iran

A man holds a smartphone connected to a Wifi network without internet access at an office in the Iranian capital Tehran on November 17, 2019.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has lambasted the Islamic Republic for shutting down the Internet in Iran.

In a statement published on November 18, IJF said, "The Iranian regime has blocked nearly all internet access amid rising repression against protests over the hike in fuel prices that began on November 15.

Furthermore, the international body that represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries has condemned the Internet shutdown as "an attempt to cut communication lines and silence media reporting on the situation facing the country."

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, says, "Internet shutdowns are increasingly becoming a tool for governments all over the world to silence media reporting and restricting the fundamental right of citizens to have free access to information."

Earlier, the IFJ had reported that thirty countries across the world have closed media and blocked Internet access so far in 2019, evidencing the global trend to control citizens' media and Internet access.

"We urge the Iranian authorities to lift the blockade and stop the repression against the demonstrators," Bellanger reiterated.

Following widespread protests, an official at the Islamic Republic Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) admitted on November 16 that the country's Security Council had ordered the shut-down of the Internet across the land.

However, the spokesman of President Hassan Rouhani's administration, Ali Rabiee, announced on November 17 that the Internet would soon go back to normal in a few provinces where there were no "security concerns."

Meanwhile, MICT minister, Mohammad Javad Jahromi, has regretfully noted that shutting down the Internet had cost billions of dollars to the people and the clergy-dominated political establishment in Iran.