Trump, Western diplomats take to Twitter to urge Iran against executing protesters

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 15, 2020. (AP)

US President Donald Trump joined on Wednesday a Twitter campaign launched by Iranians to protest against the regime's decision to go forward with the execution of three young men who took part in Iran’s November 2019 protests.

Iranians had launched a hashtag on Twitter on Tuesday against the Iranian judiciary’s decision to uphold the death sentences 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.

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Iranians in and out of Iran used a Persian hashtag that read "do not execute" which became a global trending topic with over four million tweets.

Twitter is banned in Iran, but many Iranians access the social media platform using virtual private networks (VPNs).

“Three individuals were sentenced to death in Iran for participating in protests. The execution is expected momentarily. Executing these three people sends a terrible signal to the world and should not be done! #StopExecutionsInIran,” Trump tweeted.

The US president also tweeted the same message in Persian using the viral “do not execute” hashtag.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been escalating since Trump withdrew in 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal, and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian regime, and they reached unprecedented heights after the US airstrike which killed Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of the Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The US had in the past issued statements condemning the arrest of protesters in Iran. Under Trump’s administration, Washington imposed in May sanctions on Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli for his role in the crackdown on protesters in November 2019.

Protests broke out across Iran last November 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.

West urges against executions

Senior Western diplomats also urged the Iranian regime against execution the three young protesters.

“Iran’s continued violation of human rights and use of capital punishment remain of deep concern … call on authorities to review the cases,” Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted.

“Sweden strongly opposes the use of the death penalty … deeply concerned about recently reconfirmed death sentences of three protesters in Iran,” Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde tweeted.

An Iranian-born MP in New Zealand, Golriz Ghahraman, took to Twitter to condemn Tehran’s decision: “The Iranian regime has committed countless crimes against humanity against our people- tortured & executed so many young, vibrant activists- and yet more rise to fight for freedom and democracy. Now Iranians fight to stop the latest executions.”

Read more:

‘Do not execute’: Twitter hashtag against Iran executing protestors trends worldwide

Iran’s judiciary upholds death sentences of three Iranian protesters

Expect more death sentences for young imprisoned Iranian protesters

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Last Update: Wednesday, 15 July 2020 KSA 21:55 - GMT 18:55
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