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Iran may disrupt internet for 'security reasons' as protests grow

Women burn headscarves after death in custody

Access to the internet in Iran may be disrupted for "security reasons", the minister of communications was quoted as saying today by the semi-official ISNA news agency, amid widespread protests following the death of a young woman in police custody, Reuters reported.

"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," Issa Zarepour said.

Mahsa Amini, 22, died on Friday after falling into a coma following her arrest in Tehran earlier in the week, putting a spotlight on women's rights in Iran.

READ: 5 killed in Iran protests against death of woman arrested by police

Police rejected social media suspicions that she was beaten, saying she fell ill as she waited with other detained women. However, her father has said she had no underlying health conditions prior to her arrest.

The UN has called for an investigation into her death. "Mahsa Amini's tragic death and allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority, that ensures, in particular, that her family has access to justice and truth," acting UN commissioner Nada Al-Nashif said.

"The authorities must stop targeting, harassing, and detaining women who do not abide by the hijab rules," Nashif added in a statement.

Women have been burning their hijabs during protests across the country in protest after Amini's death.

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