The UN rights office on Friday called on Iranian authorities to restore internet in areas where it was apparently disrupted after protesters took to the streets following the killing of at least a dozen people, and possibly up to 23, in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province, according to Reuters.
Revolutionary Guards and security forces have used lethal force against fuel couriers from ethnic minorities and protesters in the area, the UN said on Friday.
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The killings had triggered demonstrations in several cities across the province, during which the revolutionary guard and security forces fired lethal ammunition at protesters and bystanders, UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing in Geneva.
He also said that it has been difficult to verify the death toll due to disruptions of local mobile data networks, but some unconfirmed reports have estimated that as many as 23 people may have been killed.
“We call on the authorities to immediately restore Internet access in areas that remain disconnected,” he said.
Sistan-Baluchistan’s population is predominantly Sunni Muslim, while most Iranians are Shia. Iran has some of the lowest fuel prices in the world and has been fighting smuggling to neighboring countries.