At least 9 killed as Iran protests spread over woman’s death

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angered by the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since violence erupted over the weekend, according to a Thursday tally by The Associated Press.

The extent of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in several years, remains unclear as protesters in at least a dozen cities – venting anger at the country’s social repression and mounting crises – continue to meet security forces and paramilitary forces .

Widespread outages of Instagram and WhatsApp, which protesters use to share information about the government’s ongoing crackdown on dissidents, continued on Thursday. Authorities also appeared to cut off Internet access to the outside world, a tactic human rights activists say the government often uses during times of unrest.

In a country where radio and television stations are already state-controlled and journalists are regularly threatened with arrest, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guards on Thursday urged the judiciary to “ban anyone who spreads false news and rumours” about the unrest on social media, to be prosecuted.

The demonstrations in Iran began as an emotional outburst over the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman being held by the country’s vice squad for allegedly violating a strictly enforced dress code. Her death has drawn strong condemnation from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

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