Iranian authorities say they will restrict internet access in the country until calm is restored to the streets, as protests over the death of a young woman in the custody of the morality police rock the Islamic Republic.
Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in protest since the death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was apprehended in Tehran and taken to a “re-education center,” apparently for not wearing her hijab properly.
Since Friday, demonstrations have taken place in at least 40 cities nationwide, including the capital Tehran, with protesters demanding an end to violence and discrimination against women as well as an end to compulsory wearing of the hijab.
At least 1,200 have been arrested in connection to the protests, Iranian state-backed news agency Tasmin reported Saturday, citing a security official.
Dozens of protesters have reportedly been killed in the resulting clashes with security forces.
CNN cannot independently verify the death toll – a precise figure is impossible for anyone outside the Iranian government to confirm – and different estimates have been given by opposition groups, international rights organizations and local journalists. Amnesty International said Friday that at least 30 people, including four children, had died; according to state media the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, 35 people have died.
The demonstrations have also seen journalists targeted by authorities, with at least 17 arrested, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit that monitors press freedom.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has asked all people to identify protesters, the country’s semi-official news agency Fars News said.
The IRCG is the elite wing of the Iranian military that was established in the aftermath of the country’s revolution in 1979.