Image: Taxonomy of internet shutdowns

#KeepItOn: 34 governments demand Iran ends internet restrictions

Access Now welcomes the growing global pressure on Iranian authorities to immediately reinstate internet access across the nation. Yesterday, October 20, the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) denounced internet shutdowns in Iran amidst ongoing violent repression of nationwide protests, online and offline. Other governments must follow suit and condemn these human rights violations.

“Access Now strongly commends the FOC for condemning internet shutdowns in Iran,” said Laura O’Brien, Senior UN Advocacy Officer and Access Now FOC Advisory Network representative. “Such a powerful global statement sets a precedent: the world is watching Iran and will not sit quietly while digital rights violations abound. We hope the FOC continues on this course of timely advocacy and country-specific actions.”

FOC is a group of 34 governments that work together to advance internet freedom. This bold new statement on Iran marks the first time the body has spoken by consensus on a developing situation in a specific country.

“Iranian authorities are mercilessly killing and arresting protestors while shielding themselves from accountability by shutting down the internet,” said Marwa Fatafta, MENA Policy and Advocacy Manager at Access Now. “The international community cannot afford to stay idle. The Iranian regime must be investigated and held accountable for these crimes.”

Access Now is closely monitoring the situation of human rights in Iran, where protests following the death in custody of Mahsa (Jhina) Amini met a violent response by Iranian authorities and internet restrictions. Since September 16, Iranian authorities have imposed daily internet curfews while violently cracking down on protestors. They also blocked WhatsApp and Instagram — two of the most popular platforms in the country.