Anonymous hacks Iranian government websites after Mahsa Amini's death
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Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@youranonnews/Mahsa Amini Family
Anonymous has said it will 'shut down' the Iranian government following the death of Mahsa Amini.
The 22-year-old was detained on 13 September after officers apparently found fault with her headscarf, or hijab.
The headscarf has been compulsory for women in Iran since after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and members of the morality police enforce the strict dress code.
However, pro-reform news websites quoted an uncle of Amini as saying she had no history of heart disease, while Radio Free Europe reported that eyewitnesses said she was beaten inside the police van.
Her death has sparked unrest in the country, and hacking group Anonymous has announced that it is helping the people 'remove the government from power'.
In a video declaring the group's support for the cause, a distorted voice says: "This was the last straw... The Iranian people are not alone."
The two main websites of the Iranian government - as well as state-affiliated media websites - are down, according to Al Jazeera.
The minister of communications, Issa Zarepour, said earlier today (Wednesday 21 September) that internet access in the country may be disrupted due to 'security issues', according to the ISNA news agency, as reported by Reuters.
He said: "Due to security issues and the debates going on currently in the country, restrictions to the internet may be decided and applied by the security apparatus, but overall we have not had any bandwidth reduction."
Iran has faced international criticism over the death of Amini, which has ignited days of protests across the country, including clashes with security forces in the capital and unrest that claimed at least three lives.
The UN human rights office called for an investigation, the US – which is trying to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran – called on the Islamic Republic to end its 'systemic persecution' of women, and Italy also condemned Amini's death.
Iran dismissed the criticism as politically motivated. Separately, an Iranian official said three people had been killed by unnamed armed groups in the Kurdish region of the country where the protests began, the first official confirmation of deaths linked to the unrest.
The UN body said Iran's morality police have expanded patrols in recent months, targeting women for not properly wearing the hijab.
It said verified videos show women being slapped in the face, struck with batons and thrown into police vans for wearing the hijab too loosely.
"Mahsa Amini's tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent, competent authority," said Nada Al-Nashif, the acting UN high commissioner for human rights.
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