Internet restricted in protest-hit Iran: report

Protestors attend a demonstration after authorities raised gasoline prices, in the northern city of Sari, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP)
Updated 17 November 2019

Internet restricted in protest-hit Iran: report

  • Decision was made by the Supreme National Security Council of Iran

TEHRAN: Authorities have restricted Internet access in Iran, the semi-official ISNA news agency said on Sunday, after nearly two days of nationwide protests triggered by a petrol price hike.

“Access to the Internet has been limited as of last night and for the next 24 hours,” an informed source at the information and telecommunications ministry said, quoted by ISNA.

The decision was made by the Supreme National Security Council of Iran and communicated to Internet service providors overnight, the source added.

It came after state television accused “hostile media” of trying to use fake news and videos on social media to exaggerate the protests as “large and extensive.”

Netblocks, a website that monitors online services, said late Saturday the country was in the grip of an Internet shutdown.

“Confirmed: Iran is now in the midst of a near-total national Internet shutdown; realtime network data show connectivity at 7 percent of ordinary levels after twelve hours of progressive network disconnections,” it said on Twitter.

At least one person was killed and others injured during the demonstrations that started across the country on Friday night, Iranian media said.

The protests erupted hours after it was announced the price of petrol would be increased by 50 percent for the first 60 liters and 300 percent for anything above that each month.


UAE’s equal pay law for men, women in private sector takes effect

Updated 1 min 45 sec ago

UAE’s equal pay law for men, women in private sector takes effect

  • The draft was first approved by the UAE cabinet in 2018
  • The UAE ranked 26th globally in the United Nations Development Programmes’ 2019 Gender Inequality Index

DUBAI: A presidential decree mandating equal pay for men and women in the private sector took effect on Friday, state news agency WAM reported.

The new law stated that “female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work or another of equal value.”

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan issued a decree to implement the new legislation, which was first approved by the country’s cabinet in 2018.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization said the new law elevated the country’s regional and international reputation in gender equality.

A World Economic Forum report published earlier this year claimed the UAE was a regional leader in bridging the gender pay gap.

“Congratulations to all the women working in the UAE private sector. This step will undoubtedly boost the social inclusivity of women, support their role in national development, and advance the UAE’s status on the world’s Gender Equality Index,” President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed, said on Twitter.

The UAE ranked 26th globally in the United Nations Development Programmes’ 2019 Gender Inequality Index.