Iran Blocks Message Apps as 4-Day Protest Spreads to 20 Cities

Anti-establishment demonstrations leave at least two dead. The protest started in 1 city on Thursday and quickly spread.

Iranian authorities, scrambling to contain the biggest nationwide protests since 2009, have blocked social media apps and said anyone who disrupts public order will pay the price, after a turbulent night of growing anti-establishment demonstrations left at least two dead.

People took to the streets on Saturday night for a third evening of apparently spontaneous protests. The demonstrations began over economic grievances but have since taken on a political dimension, with unprecedented calls for the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to step down.

Telegram’s CEO, Pavel Durov, earlier said it had blocked access to the popular Amadnews channel after, he said, it had “started to instruct their subscribers to use Molotov cocktails against police”.

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It’s hard to overstate the power of Telegram in Iran. Of its 80m population, an estimated 40m use the free app created by Russian national Pavel Durov. Its clients share videos and photos, subscribing to groups where everyone from politicians to poets broadcast to fellow users.

While authorities ban social media websites like Facebook and Twitter and censor others, Telegram users can say nearly anything. In the last presidential election, the app played a big role in motivating turnout and spreading political screeds.

Telegram touts itself as being highly encrypted and allows users to set their messages to “self-destruct” after a certain period, making it a favourite among activists and others concerned about their privacy. That too has made it a worry of Iranian authorities.

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Comments (4)
No. 1-4
Roadrunner12
Roadrunner12

"Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!"

Roadrunner12
Roadrunner12

Funny thing is, Trumps buddy Salmon in Saudi Arabia is hanging people upside down and picking up any and all belongings from their pockets. Not sue if there are any human rights violations there?

TheLege
TheLege

"Not sure if there are any human rights violations there?"

TheLege
TheLege

Are you kidding? The 'allies' can do WTFTL but if you're a country on the 'outside' you're fair game for an invasion. Trump will do what he is told. He has no real power. The U.S. (Deep State) is itching to invade or screw Iran somehow BUT there is the small issue of Russia as an ally. They won't stand aside ... and China is a potential ally of Iran's as well. The CIA are, at this moment, trying to invent an excuse to drop a few bombs on Tehran. F#ck these Deep State scumbags