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Iran suppresses protests

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/19/19, 10:58 am

Iran maintained a nationwide internet blackout on Tuesday in response to protests over raised gasoline prices. Authorities said they arrested more than a thousand protesters and at least five people have died, but the internet shutdown has made it difficult to confirm the extent of the clashes. Amnesty International reported Tuesday it thinks at least 106 protesters have died since Sunday.

What made people angry? A 50 percent increase in gas prices announced Friday sent tens of thousands of Iranians out into the streets in more than 100 cities and towns. Protesters chanted “down with Khamenei,” referring to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and some burned down gas stations. The Iranian economy took a hit after the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran last year and imposed sanctions on the country. The Iranian government expects the hike in gas prices to raise about $2.55 billion each year for subsidies for 18 million low-income families.

Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report in The Sift on the new economic sanctions the United States imposed on Iran.

WORLD has updated this report to include Amnesty International’s casualty estimate.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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