Blocked roads then bullets: Iran’s brutal crackdown in its City of Roses

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An internet blackout hid the state’s response to unrest in Shiraz. Interviews with activists and an analysis of social media posts reveal what happened

“What are you scared of?” the woman in the black coat shouts. “Help me to understand.” She marches up to a man in uniform guarding the petrol station. “You’re ruining us,” she screams, as the man walks away.

The exchange comes from footage taken around 1am on Friday 15 November in the south-central Iranian city of Shiraz. Hours earlier, in a surprise announcement, Iran’s government had said it was raising the price of fuel by up to three times, adding to the strain on a population already struggling with an economy suffocated by US sanctions.

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