Did Iran Give Death Penalty To 15,000 Protesters? Fact-Check
According to reports the number 15,000 corresponds to those who have been detained, while only five people been given the death penalty so far.
As protests in Iran continue, social media saw viral posts claiming that the Iranian authorities have sentenced 15,000 protesters to death, as a form of extreme clamp-down. Several prominent handles, including the official Twitter handle of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared this on social media.
BOOM found this claim to be false and baseless; while hundreds have lost their lives in clashes between authorities and protesters, according to reports the number 15,000 corresponds to those who have been detained, while only five people been given the death penalty so far with regards to the ongoing protests.
An Iranian fact-checker confirmed to BOOM that after Iranian lawmakers released an open letter to the judiciary asking for death penalty for those who participated in the protests, a misunderstanding arose leading to the claim that all those who had been detained were given the death penalty.
The recent protests in the country erupted in retaliation to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by Guidance Patrol for wearing the hijab improperly, and violating the country's strict mandatory hijab policy. The protests have since spread around the country, drawing strong response from the Iranian authorities which has claimed 342 lives, including 43 children and five being given the death penalty.
However, earlier this week social media was flooded with posts claiming 15,000 protesters were given the death penalty as a 'hard lesson' for the rest of the protesters.
Death Penalty to Five Protesters So Far
According to Iran Human Rights - a non-profit human rights organisation documenting human rights violations in the country, there have been 479 executions in the country in 2022 so far.
It also reported on November 16, that so far five protesters have been given the death sentence. This was also confirmed by an Al Jazeera report which stated that the Iranian judiciary had announced the death penalty of one protester on November 13, and four more on November 16.
How The 15,000 Number Spread
According to documentation on detainees maintained by Iranian human rights activists, and a report by the United Nations, the regime had already detained around 15,000 protesters earlier this month.
BOOM spoke to an Iranian fact-checker, who told us that a misunderstanding arose when Iranian lawmakers released an open letter to the judiciary, asking for death penalty to those who participated in the protests.
"There has been a misunderstanding around this. It was because a group of MPs released an open letter asking the judiciary to pass death sentences for those who participated in protests. This was perceived as if the sentences were handed down which is not the case," he said.
American news portal Newsweek erroneously misreported this figure of 15,000 as the number of protesters facing execution, in an article published on November 11, 2022. The article was later updated with the correct information, and an editor's note.
However, the figure soon started spreading swiftly on the internet, with many high-profile accounts sharing it. This includes Trudeau who condemned the death penalties in English and French, and then later deleted the tweets.
This has been fact-checked earlier by Factnameh.
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