Iranian Officials Confirm 25 Dead in Protests

Cheryl Sanders
January 15, 2018

Iran has lifted restrictions placed on the popular Telegram messenger service, officials confirmed Sunday.

"The information concerning the end of filtering on Telegram is correct", a Telecoms Ministry spokesman told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Many Iranians access Telegram using virtual private networks and other tools to bypass government filtering of the Internet, residents said.

At least 22 people were killed and 1,000 others arrested in the anti-government protests that began in late December, sparked at first over rising consumer prices.

Hardliners had accused foreign groups of inciting the protests via social media. After announcing they had blocked the channel, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, said on Twitter the app had been completely blocked in the country after the company had refused an Iranian request to block "peacefully protesting channels".

Multiple reports emerged Saturday reporting Telegram was back online, two weeks after the government had shut the service down in the face of country-wide anti-government protests.

The demonstrations that erupted in a number of towns and cities were the largest seen in Iran since the disputed 2009 presidential election, but authorities say the unrest has waned in recent days, and the security forces insist they have restored order.

As the protests subsided, Tehran last week lifted restrictions on Instagram.

Iran continues to impose restrictions on the Internet and social media, with Facebook and Twitter still blocked. You might sleep well, but 40 million people had problems.

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