Fri. Dec 2nd, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deleted a tweet Tuesday that falsely claimed Iran had sentenced 15,000 protesters to death — a claim that has been making the rounds on social media in recent days.

The incorrect tweet was active on Trudeau’s official Twitter account for nearly 12 hours before it was deleted.

It was ultimately dropped because it was “informed by initial reports that were incomplete and without the necessary context,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement sent to Global News.

“(The tweet) was based on reports of serious concerns raised by international human rights advocates warning of possible future punishments, including the death penalty, against thousands of Iranian protesters already detained by the regime,” the spokesman said.

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However, the tweet does not describe “possible future sentences” but states that death sentences have already been handed down.

“Canada condemns the Iranian regime’s barbaric decision to impose the death penalty on nearly 15,000 protesters,” Trudeau’s now-deleted tweet read.

“These brave Iranians fought for their human rights – and we continue to stand united in their support and united against the regime’s heinous actions.”

Trudeau is not the only person who has shared false information.

The image was shared on the popular Instagram meme page — one that boasts millions of followers — showing a woman holding an Iranian flag with the caption “Iran sentences 15,000 protesters to death – as a ‘hard lesson’ for all rebels.”

Instagram has since added a link to the post, explaining that it is “false” and that “independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.”


Click to play video: 'Iranian schoolchildren allegedly killed for protesting'


Iranian schoolchildren allegedly killed for protesting


Another version of the post, which has since been removed, was shared by celebrities including actresses Sophie Turner and Viola Davis, according to CNN. Two news outlets, Newsweek and Yahoo Entertainment, also falsely claimed in their reports that 15,000 protesters were sentenced to death.

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To date, the Iranian regime has sentenced one person to death, and its state news outlet PressTV reported that Iranian lawmakers are calling for “stern punishment” of those involved in the protests.

“We should not lose sight of the fact that one person has already been sentenced to death and that Iranian parliamentarians should not seek the imposition of death sentences,” the PMO said in a statement.

“Regime security forces have already killed dozens of protesters. Our government continues to unequivocally support the people of Iran and is taking unprecedented steps to hold the regime and its enablers accountable.”

Canada on Monday labeled Iran a regime that engages in “terrorism” as well as systematic and gross human rights abuses.

The move, Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino said, means tens of thousands of senior members of the Iranian regime — including many members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — will now be “inadmissible to Canada.”

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It is the latest in a series of sanctions Canada and its allies, including the UK and US, have persistently imposed on Iran in recent months.

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Iran has been involved in a brutal crackdown on protesters amid protests across the country. The demonstrations first erupted over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16 in the custody of the state’s so-called morality police.

She was detained for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.

Although the protests first centered on Iran’s mandatory wearing of the hijab, they have since morphed into one of the biggest challenges to the ruling clerics since the chaotic years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iranian authorities announced late last month that they would hold public trials for 1,000 people over the protests that have rocked the country.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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