BERLIN: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Friday it was terrible that Mahsa Amini, 22, died in police custody in Tehran last week after being arrested for wearing “unsuitable attire.”
“I am also saddened by the victims of the Iran protests by courageous women,” Scholz tweeted.
“No matter where in the world, women must be able to live in self-determination — without having to fear for their lives.”
Protesters across Iran continued to clash violently with security forces following the death of Amini, as Iranian state TV suggested the death toll from the unrest could be as high as 26.
Iranian authorities have imposed tough and targeted restrictions on the use of the internet in a bid to impede protesters gathering and prevent images of crackdowns on their demonstrations reaching the outside world, observers say.
Activists have expressed alarm that the restrictions, also affecting Instagram which until now has remained unblocked in Iran and is hugely popular, could allow the authorities to carry out repression “under the cover of darkness.”
The protests erupted a week ago over the death in Tehran of Mahsa Amini.
Internet access monitor Netblocks described the access cuts as the most “severe internet restrictions” in Iran since the deadly crackdown on protests in November 2019, when the country experienced an unprecedented near-complete internet shutdown.
It says that mobile data networks have been cut — although there are signs of a return to connectivity — and there have been severe regional restrictions of access to Instagram and WhatsApp.
“It’s significantly different to what we saw in November 2019. It’s not as near total and complete as it was back then but more sporadic,” said Mahsa Alimardani, senior Iran researcher for freedom of expression group Article 19.