Ballot boxes set to be used during the March 1 election in Iran (March 1, 2024)

Iran's Cyber-Police ‌Blocking Instagram Accounts For Election Boycott

Friday, 03/01/2024

The Iranian cyber-police are shutting down social media pages that urge people to boycott the March 1 elections of the parliament and Assembly of Experts and prosecuting their admins.

The cyber-crime center of the intelligence organization of the police in Khorasan Razavi said in a press release Friday that 11 Instagram accounts were identified in the province for “disturbing the public’s peace of mind, propaganda against the regime, and encouragement to boycotting the elections.” Judicial action has been taken against the admins of these pages, the statement said.

Amid unprecedented calls to boycott the elections which many claim are “stage-managed”, the cyber-police have focused on identifying “the perpetrators” and handing their cases over to the judiciary for prosecution.

On January 20, chief of the cyber-police of Semnan Province announced that the admins of an Instagram page and a WhatsApp group were arrested for “insulting” Ghasem Soleimani and those killed in the bombing of Kerman and “urged election boycott”.

Mohammad-Reza Fadaeian also claimed that the cyber-police had taken action against these individuals because “people’s feelings was hurt” by their posts.

Pages blocked by the cyber-police display a message that says the page was shut down in accordance with a judicial order for publishing criminal content.

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