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Democratic Presidential Candidates Condemn Violence Against Protesters In Iran

Protesters carrying an injured comrade in Shiraz, Iran. Photo from November 16 or 17.

Following Hillary Clinton’s tweet on Friday in support of protesters in Iran, four democratic presidential candidates also sent messages via Twitter, demanding an end to violence and urging the government to listen to its own people.

First, was Kamala Harris who said, “Instead of killing its citizens, violating rights…the Iranian government should listen to its people and implement reforms”. Harris is the junior U.S. Senator representing California, where there is a large Iranian-American community.

At least 138 people have been killed by the government’s use of force since November 15 when protests against a sudden gasoline price hike was announced in Iran. Hundreds have been injured, many scared to seek medical help, as intelligence agents reportedly arrest people at hospitals. At least another 3,000 have been arrested.

Pete Buttigieg followed Harris, applauding “the bravery of the Iranian protesters” in a tweet and called on the Iranian government to “take action to improve the lives of its citizens, rather than resorting to violence and censorship to repress protests.”

Minutes later, Julian Castro tweeted condemning violence against protesters and the Internet blackout imposed by the Islamic Republic. “The government-imposed communications blackout must be fully lifted and the right to protest respected. Iranian-Americans need to be able to connect with their relatives.”

Later, Elizabeth Warren took to Twitter to condemn “corruption and authoritarianism” and saying that Iranian must win this struggle. She added, “we support their demand for dignity, freedom to connect to the outside world, and right to peacefully demonstrate.”

Although the U.S. and European powers have condemned the violence and voiced concern, Iranian activists say reactions, especially in Europe have been weak and remained within the limits of condemnations. Now, more American politicians are voicing concern about the fate of protesters and the violence used against them.