Trudeau Fact-checked: PM Deletes Tweet Falsely Saying Iran Sentenced 15,000 Protestors To Death

Following a viral campaign on social media, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deleted a tweet containing erroneous information about mass executions in Iran.

“Canada denounces the Iranian regime’s barbaric decision to impose the death penalty on nearly 15,000 protestors,” the prime minister said in the now-deleted tweet. The post was up for 12 hours before being taken down.

In response, a Canadian government spokesperson told CNN that “the post was informed by initial reporting that was incomplete and lacked necessary context.”

“It was based on reporting of serious concerns raised by international human rights advocates warning of possible future sentences, including the death penalty, imposed on thousands of Iranian protesters who have already been detained by the regime,” the spokesperson said.

Iran is facing a wave of unrest that was sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody. Amini, 22, was arrested on September 13 for her “unsuitable attire”–showing her hair by not wearing a hijab–by the country’s morality police. She died three days later after falling into a coma.

READ: Iranian Protests Against Dictatorship: State Police Say 41 Dead But Human Rights Group Claims 76

Since protests erupted, Iran has arrested over 14,000 people, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, earlier this month. At least 2,000 people have been charged for their suspected involvement in the nationwide protests and trials open to the public have been going on for more than two weeks.

Through unverified sources and human rights organizations’ estimates, around 326 people have already been killed.

According to state television, Iran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced an anonymous protester to death for allegedly setting fire to a government building. Five additional protesters were sentenced to five to ten years in jail for “collusion to commit a crime against national security and disturbance of public peace and order.”

“We should not lose sight of the fact that one person has already been sentenced to death, and that Iranian parliamentarians should not call for any death sentences to be imposed. Already, dozens of protesters have been killed by the regime’s security forces,” the Ottawa spokesperson added on the false information tweet debacle.

Trudeau has been taking a harder stance on Iran, announcing bans and sanctions on the regime to hold it accountable “for its egregious actions” related to the death of Amini. The federal government has earmarked $76 million “to strengthen Canada’s capacity to implement sanctions and ensure we can move more quickly to freeze and seize sanctioned individuals’ assets.”

Before it was deleted, the prime minister’s tweet was reposted multiple times, including by celebrities like actresses Sophie Turner and Viola Davis.

The demonstrations in Iran is setting a record as the country’s biggest protests since 2019. In a number of online videos covering the unrest, many Iranians have been calling for “death to (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei” and pushing for ending decades of dictatorship.

Information for this briefing was found via CNN and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply