Iranians launched on Tuesday a hashtag on Twitter that ended up trending worldwide with over two million tweets against the decision of Iran's highest judicial authority to uphold the death sentences of three young Iranians who took part in the November 2019 protests.
The Persian-language hashtag which translates to “do not execute” has had over two million tweets as of late Tuesday.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is gearing up to execute 3 young men for participating in #IranProtests. They have names. Don't let them be statistics. The world should react to this impending tragedy.#StopExecutionsInIran #اعدام_نکنید https://t.co/4X0S5rffB5— 𝕍𝕒𝕙𝕚𝕕 𝕐𝕦𝕔𝕖𝕤𝕠𝕪 (@vahid_yucesoy) July 14, 2020
The hashtag was launched in support of Amirhossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi – three protesters who were arrested and sentenced to death following Iran’s anti-government protests last November.
They (the Iran's Gov) killed hundreds of unarmed innocent protesters in November 2019, and they are about to kill 3 more.— Sheldon (@patrick_jane77) July 14, 2020
Just because of a simple protest against the gas price increase!
Be their voice. Save their lives.
#StopExecutionsInIran #اعدام_نکنید pic.twitter.com/TFbJQuDI2O
Protests broke out across Iran in November 2019 after the government introduced gasoline rationing and price hikes. Thousands were arrested and about 1,500 Iranians were killed by security forces, according to a Reuters report.
The Supreme Court of Iran has upheld the three protesters’ death sentences, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili confirmed on Tuesday, saying they were “among the main rioters,” the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
An interrogator stood on Moradi’s chest during an interrogation session causing injury to his ribs, HRANA quoted a source close to Moradi’s family as saying.
“You cannot prevent the occurrence of another November 2019 through executions,” tweeted Mohammad Agha-Soltan using the hashtag. Agha-Soltan’s sister, Neda, became the symbol of Iran’s 2009 protests after she was shot dead by security forces.
At the same time, cybersecurity NGO Netblocks reported a “significant disruption” to multiple networks in Iran, which some activists speculate is an attempt by the authorities to disrupt the Twitter campaign.
Confirmed: Significant disruption to multiple networks in #Iran after 5 p.m. UTC (9:30 p.m. local time); real-time network data show significant impact to subscriber internet lines limiting citizens' ability to communicate; incident ongoing 📉 pic.twitter.com/XZ1rNXgRHB— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) July 14, 2020
During the November 2019 protests, Iran almost completely shut off access to the internet across the country for days.
Twitter is banned in Iran, but many Iranians access the social media platform using virtual private networks (VPN).