Following a string of announcements by the Islamic Republic of Iran about convictions, death penalties for protesters and executions of political prisoners, a wide cross-section of Iranians resorted to a campaign on social media against the authorities.
The Persian hashtag #DontExecute trended in the world, occupying the highest spot Tuesday evening GMT time. Diverse individuals and groups usually at odds on social media united in supporting the call for the Iranian government to stop executions and persecution.
Social media activists, including the exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi also began circulating the English version of the hashtag; #StopExecutionsInIran.
As the social media push gained momentum, reports emerged that internet connection in Iran was slowed down by providers that are controlled by the security organs of the Islamic Republic.
NetBlocks.org, an internet monitoring group tweeted that “Significant disruption to multiple networks in #Iran” at 21:30 local time significantly impacted “citizens’ ability to communicate; incident ongoing”.
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
Iran has been condemned by international rights watchdogs and Western governments for disrupting internet service during public protests, but this time there are no disturbances on the streets.
Earlier in the day, Iran’s Judiciary announced that death penalty sentences were confirmed by the supreme court against three young men who had participated in anti-government demonstrations last November. Earlier on Tuesday, Iran had also announced the execution of two political prisoners belonging to the Kurdish minority.
Amnesty International also issued a statement on Twitter Tuesday evening calling on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to stop the execution of the three young protesters.
Iran’s @khamenei_ir must quash the death sentences of protesters—Amirhossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi & Mohammad Rajabi—immediately! Their trial was unfair & they said they were subjected to torture through beatings, electric shocks and being hung upside down. #اعدام_نکنید— Amnesty International (@amnesty) July 14, 2020