RFL/RE – Iran’s Telecommunications Minister says Telegram would only be unblocked if it removed “terrorist” content after the social media app was shut down during this week’s protests, reports AFP. Meanwhile Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement said “Iranian authorities must respect the rights of all demonstrators .”
Telecommunications Minister stated, “I had mail exchanges with the head of Telegram and I told him that the continuation of Telegram’s activities is conditioned on the suppression of terrorist content,” Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi told state television.
“The organs of power welcome criticism on social media… but in the current climate, in particular on Telegram, there is propaganda for violent and terrorist actions,” he added.
More than 40 million Iranians have smartphones in the country of 80 million, and at least 25 million use Telegram on a daily basis.
Meanwhile Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has issued a statement:
“I am deeply disturbed by reports that more than 20 people, including an 11-year-old boy, have died and hundreds have been arrested during the recent wave of protests in Iran. The Iranian authorities must respect the rights of all demonstrators and detainees, including their right to life, and guarantee their safety and security. There must be thorough, independent and impartial investigations of all acts of violence that have taken place – and a concerted effort by the authorities to ensure that all security forces respond in a manner that is proportionate and strictly necessary, and fully in line with international law.”