Additionally, there were widespread reports of significant internet failures, with one of the main mobile phone companies being interrupted and taking millions of Iranians offline.
Last week’s death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for “unsuitable attire”, has unleashed a wave of anger over issues including freedom in the Islamic Republic and an economy reeling from sanctions.
At least six protesters have now been killed, according to Iranian media and officials, as well as a police officer and two member of a pro-government militia. However, activist groups say the death toll is higher.
NetBlocks also reported a “nation-scale loss of connectivity” on Iran’s main mobile telephone provider and another company’s network.
WhatsApp’s servers were disrupted on multiple internet providers, hours after Instagram’s services were blocked, London-based NetBlocks said.
The group’s data shows a near-total disruption to internet service in parts of Kurdistan province in western Iran since Monday, while the capital city of Tehran and other parts of the country have also faced disruptions since Friday, when protests first broke out.
⚠️ #Iran is now subject to the most severe internet restrictions since the November 2019 massacre.
▶️ Mobile networks largely shut down (MCI, Rightel, Irancell – partial)
▶️ Regional disruptions observed during protests
▶️ Instagram, WhatsApp restrictedhttps://t.co/8cCHIJA2Oi
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) September 21, 2022
Two residents in Tehran and southern Iran said they could only send text and not pictures on WhatsApp and that Instagram appeared to be completely blocked.