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Iranian Authorities Send Text Messages Warning People Not To Protest

Text message sent by the prosecutor's office in the northern Alborz province warning the recipient not to attend protests. November 16, 2019

Iranian judicial and security authorities have resorted to sending text messages to citizens to warn them to stay away from protests unfolding against a gasoline price hike.

Protests which began on Friday gained more momentum on Saturday, with large and small urban areas experiencing various degrees of unrest. In several places citizens were killed by actions of security police.

As a sample of the text messages sent circulating on social media, the prosecutor of Alborz province has warned citizens not to attend “illegal gatherings” or they will face legal consequences. His message also says that the protests have “disturbed public order and misused by anti-revolutionaries”; a reference to those who oppose the Islamic Republic.

In another text message, “Security and Intelligence Coordination Council of Bushehr” in the south of the country warned citizens to quickly leave protest gatherings or face consequences.

Similar text messages were also sent by authorities in Kerman and the oil-rich Khuzestan provinces.

There are confirmed reports of security and intelligence organs interrupting or slowing down internet service to make it harder for protesters to communicate.