Hackers disrupt live speech by Iranian president

In his speech, Ibrahim Raisy called on “deceived youth” to repent. (document)

The Islamic Republic of Iran held a state-organized rally on Saturday to mark the 44th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, as anti-government hackers briefly interrupted President Ebrahim Raisi’s televised address.

Raisi’s hardline government faces one of the boldest challenges yet from young protesters calling for its ouster, calling on “defrauded youth” to repent so they can be pardoned by Iran’s supreme leader.

In this context, “the people of Iran will embrace them with open arms,” ​​he told the crowd gathered in Tehran’s vast Azadi Square.

His televised speech was interrupted for about a minute on the Internet, and the logo of a group of anti-Iranian government hackers, who went by the name “Edalat Ali” (Justice Ali), appeared on the screen. A voice shouted “Death to the Islamic Republic”.

Nationwide protests have engulfed Iran following the death in September of Mahsa Amini, 22, in the custody of the country’s morality police.

Security forces have waged a deadly crackdown on the protests, one of the strongest challenges the Islamic Republic has faced since a 1979 revolution that overthrew a 2,500-year-old monarchy.

Iranian authorities on Friday released imprisoned dissident Farhad Mesami and Iranian-French scholar Fariba Adelha on hunger strike as part of an amnesty to mark the anniversary of the revolution.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued an amnesty on Sunday that included some prisoners arrested during recent anti-government protests.

Human rights group HRANA said 528 protesters had been killed as of Friday, including 71 minors. It said 70 government security personnel were also killed. As many as 19,763 protesters are believed to have been arrested.

For weeks, Iranian leaders and state media have called for a massive vote at Saturday’s rallies in an apparent response to the protests that signaled unity and popularity.

On Friday night’s anniversary night, state media showed fireworks as part of government-sponsored celebrations, with people chanting “Allahu Akbar! (God is greatest!)”. However, many could be heard yelling “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to the Islamic Republic” in videos posted on social media.

Reuters could not independently verify the social media posts.

On Saturday, government television broadcast live footage of rallies in states across the country.

In Tehran, home-made anti-ballistic missiles, drones, anti-submarine cruisers and other military equipment were displayed as part of the celebrations.

“People have realized that the enemy’s problem is not women, life or freedom,” Lacey said in a televised address from Tehran’s Azadi Square, referring to the protesters’ signature chants.

“Instead, they want to take away our independence,” he said.

His speeches were frequently interrupted by chants of “Death to America” ​​– a signature mantra at state rallies. The crowd also chanted “Death to Israel”.

Lacey accused “enemies” of promoting “the worst vulgarity, which is homosexuality”.

Adelkhah, who has been in prison since 2019, is one of seven French nationals detained in Iran, a factor that has soured relations between Paris and Tehran in recent months.

She was sentenced to five years in prison in 2020 on national security charges. They later placed her under house arrest, but in January she was back in jail. Adelkhah has denied the allegations.

Mesami’s release came a week after supporters warned he was at risk of death as a result of his hunger strike. He was arrested in 2018 for protesting the mandatory wearing of the hijab.read more

In announcing Adelkhah’s release on Friday, the French foreign ministry called for her freedom to be restored, “including returning to France if she so chooses.”

“Legally, her file is complete and there should be no problem legally leaving the country, but this issue needs to be re-examined. So… it is not clear how long it will take,” said her lawyer Hojjat Kermani.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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