Iran’s Islamist rulers have begun cracking down on expressions of happiness by their opponents over President Ebrahim Raisi’s death Sunday in a helicopter crash.

Raisi and other senior officials died when their helicopter crashed in bad weather in East Azerbaijan province while flying back to Iran from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared five days of national mourning in response.

Raisi was reviled by opponents of Iran's authoritarian Islamist government for his role as a prosecutor who ordered mass killings of political prisoners in 1988 and for using his presidential powers to violently suppress a women’s rights protest movement that erupted nationwide in late 2022 and continued into 2023.

Dadban, an Iran-based group of lawyers defending political prisoners and rights activists, said in a Tuesday post on the X platform that it received messages from several citizens who reported being ordered by security agencies to remove online content expressing joy at Raisi’s demise.

The head of Iran’s cyber police had warned a day earlier that authorities were “carefully monitoring cyberspace" and advised citizens to refrain from publishing “provocative” content.

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