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Around 450 users of social media apps, including Telegram, WhatsApp and Instagram, are to reportedly face trial after being arrested, detained or summoned in Iran, according to reports on Tuesday 23 August .

It is believed the Centre for Investigation of Organised Crime is behind the arrests, which monitors social media and seeks out evidence of immorality or subversion with a remit of defending the Islamic Republic against internal and external threats.

"These people were carrying out immoral activities, insulted religious beliefs or had illegal activities in the field of fashion," the Revolutionary Guard affiliated Gherdab website said, according to a report by Sky News.

Over 50% of Iran's 80 million population is online, even though Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are blocked.

However, millions of Iranians bypass the ban through using virtual private networks VPNs .

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