Zahedan, capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province, is experiencing a severe disruption in internet connectivity.
According to local sources, the disruption comes as the security situation in the city has intensified – with security forces cordoning off numerous streets and subjecting locals to body searches as they travel to and from mosques for Friday prayers.
Haalvsh, a website reporting news from Sistan and Baluchistan, quoted its sources as saying that military forces have erected checkpoints along many roads and blocked access to several streets.
Some forces are stationed on top of tall buildings and are monitoring the area.
The internet disruption is the latest in a series of measures that the Iranian government has taken to crack down on dissent in Zahedan.
Zahedan is the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province, which is home to Iran’s Sunni Baluch minority of up to 2 million people.
The city has seen protest rallies almost every Friday since September 30 of last year, when security forces killed nearly 100 people in the deadliest incident in the nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini.
Grand Makki Mosque, the largest Sunni mosque in Iran, has been a focal point of anti-government protests since the Woman, Life, Freedom movement erupted in mid-September 2022.
In a press release issued on Thursday, Amnesty International strongly condemned the recent wave of brutal attacks on Baluch protesters and worshipers in Zahedan.
They called on the authorities of the Islamic Republic to refrain from using coercive forces unlawfully during the forthcoming protests on the following Friday.