IRAN

Internet access slowly returns after shutdown

Iran on Thursday began restoring Internet access in the capital, Tehran, and a number of provinces, news agencies and residents said, after a five-day nationwide shutdown meant to help stifle protests against fuel price increases.

The Revolutionary Guard Corps said calm had returned across Iran, state TV reported. Amnesty International said this week that more than 100 protesters may have been killed by security forces.

“The Internet is being gradually restored in the country,” the semiofficial news agency Fars said, quoting sources.

The Internet blockage made it difficult for protesters to post videos on social media to generate support and to obtain reliable reports on the extent of the unrest.

NetBlocks, a group that monitors worldwide Internet access, said the restoration of connectivity in Iran covered only about 10 percent of the country. News agencies and residents said only fixed-line Internet was partially restored.

Protests began Friday in several towns after the government announced fuel price hikes of at least 50 percent. They spread to 100 cities and towns and quickly turned political, with protesters demanding that top officials step down.

— Reuters

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— From news services