Amid the ongoing turmoil in the country, protestors hacked Iran’s state-run broadcaster on Saturday, interrupting live coverage to show an anti-government message. The broadcast featured a message that said, “The blood of our youth is on your hands,” according to a report by the news agency AFP.
The protest was sparked by the murder of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was held by morality police in Tehran for not properly covering her hair. On September 16, while being arrested by the police, she passed away three days later.
According to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency, anti-revolutionary elements temporarily hacked the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network’s (IRINN) 9 p.m. bulletin before it was broadcast by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). The meeting of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, in the southern city of Bushehr was aired but was cut off by the hack.
The breach, which lasted a few seconds, started with a brief film of a person against a black background wearing a cartoon mask with a beard and thick brows. A screen featuring images of Nika Shahkarami, Hadis Najafi, and Sarina Esmailzadeh—all young women who were reported murdered during the protests in Iran that erupted last month after Amini’s death—followed it. The screen also included a picture of Khamenei with a target overlaid on his face.
The hacktivist group Edalat-e Ali (Ali’s Justice) claimed responsibility for the hack, adding the slogan “Join us and rise” to the top right corner of the screen.
According to AFP, the footage from the breach was published on social media by Persian media outlets and rights organizations headquartered outside of Iran. On their social media, Edalat-e Ali wrote, “On the people’s request, we fulfilled our commitment and accomplished the unthinkable to free Iran.”
According to the AFP report, the news anchor was seen shifting uncomfortably in his seat when the video ended, and despite internet censorship, his response to the footage was widely shared on social media.