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Trump Condemns Impending Execution Of Three Protesters In Iran Amid Uproar

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 14, 2020.
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 14, 2020.

President Donald Trump has joined millions who "stormed" Twitter last night to condemn the death penalty for three young Iranians arrested in widespread anti-regime protests last November.

Top officials from different countries worldwide, including Denmark and Sweden, have also lambasted Tehran for upholding the death penalty for the young protesters.

In two tweets in Persian and English, President Trump has warned that executing the three is imminent.

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

Immediately after the news broke out that the Islamic Republic Supreme Court had upheld the death verdict against Amir Hossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Saeid Tamjidi, an unprecedented "storm" of protest erupted on Twitter.

As of noon, Iran time (+5:30 GMT) today, Wednesday, July 15, about six billion users had seen the tweet, and more than five million have retweeted it, so far.

According to a report compiled by the "We the Digital Citizens" campaign for Radio Farda, at least 556,000 users have tweeted more than 500,000 messages containing this hashtag, #StopExecutionsInIran. In an overnight "storm", the hashtag was retweeted more than four million times.

Many public figures and some politicians in Iran also joined the campaign.

The hashtag "#Stop_execution" was initially used by a user named "Aquarius," but after the death sentence was officially confirmed, a user named "Noqteh" (or Dot) used it as a call for a protest campaign.

The Islamic Republic Supreme Court admitted on Friday, July 10, that it had upheld death sentences for three young protesters arrested in mid-November anti-establishment rallies, one of the defendants' attorneys, Mostafa Nili, disclosed.

In a tweet, Mostafa Nili also said that the defendants' lawyers have not yet been allowed to access their clients' legal cases.

However, he expressed hope that the verdict was not final and could be appealed.

Denmark's Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod also tweeted, "Deeply concerned by confirmation of death sentences against 3 young men for participating in last year’s protests in #Iran. Iran’s continued violation of human rights and use of capital punishment remain of deep concern."

The three young suspects, all born in the early 1990s, were tried and sentenced to death last March, in a court presided by a notorious hardliner judge, Abolqassem Salavati. They were charged with participation in armed conflict, illegal exit from the country, attending protests, and sabotage. They were also sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 222 lashes.

The uprising across Iran was triggered by an overnight three-fold increase in gasoline price in mid-November 2019. It led to widespread protests in more than 100 cities and 29 of 31 provinces of Iran.

Supported by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), anti-riot Special Units, and plainclothesmen, the Islamic Republic security forces brutally suppressed the uprising, killing hundreds of protesters arresting thousands more.

Amnesty International has repeatedly warned that detainees are at risk of torture and ill-treatment and long prison terms.

Furthermore, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, condemned the death sentence against the three young men on June 25 and asserted that the Islamic Republic should respect human rights and end such executions.

According to the latest statistics of Twitter trends, the hashtag "#don't_execute" is still being published and retweeted, and today, Wednesday, a new hashtag, "#no_to_execution," has also been used in 250,000 tweets and retweets, so far.