Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has deleted a tweet containing misinformation about the mass death penalty in Iran, after a viral campaign on social media spread fake news.
Celebrities and users shared a photo on Instagram showing a woman holding an Iranian flag with the caption “Iran sentences 15,000 protesters to death — as a ‘hard lesson’ for all rebel.”
Since then, Instagram has tagged the post as “Disinformation” and said “Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.”
The post, which has now been taken down, was shared by celebrities including actresses Sophie Turner and Viola Davis.
Trudeau tweeted late Monday that Canada denounced the “barbaric decision of the Iranian regime to impose the death penalty on nearly 15,000 protesters.” The tweet existed for 12 hours before it was taken down.
A Canadian government spokesman told CNN: “The post was deemed incomplete and lacked the necessary context. It has therefore been removed since then.”
The spokesperson added: “This is based on reports of serious concerns raised by international human rights advocates, which warn of possible future sentences, including the death penalty. for thousands of Iranian protesters who have been detained by the regime.”
CNN has reached out to Iran’s Foreign Ministry for comment.
Iranian lawmakers are demanding that the country’s judiciary have “zero tolerance” for protesters, but so far one person has been formally sentenced to death by the judiciary this week. However, the United Nations last week warned that others risk receiving similar sentences.
UN experts said last week: “With the continued suppression of protests, more indictments with the death penalty and the death penalty could soon be issued.”
“We should not forget the fact that one person has been sentenced to death and Iranian parliamentarians should not call for any death sentence to be imposed. Dozens of protesters have been detained by the regime’s security forces. killed,” said a Canadian government spokesman.
Iran has detained more than 14,000 people in a crackdown since protests began across Iran in September, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, said earlier this month. this.
At least 2,000 people have been charged for allegedly taking part in nationwide protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, the largest demonstration in years. The tests are public and have been running for more than two weeks. The convictions can be appealed, according to state news agency IRNA.
Human rights groups say at least 326 people have been killed in the protests. CNN was unable to independently verify figures on arrests, death tolls, and multiple accounts of those killed due to the Iranian government’s crackdown on media, internet and transparency.
Iran’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced an unnamed protester to death for setting fire to a government building, state media said on Sunday. Five others who participated in the protests received sentences of between five and 10 years in prison, found guilty of “colluding to commit crimes against national security and disrupting public order and security.”
The protests have sparked a fierce battle for control of the online narrative, where supporters as well as opponents of the government are using social media to voice their own version of the truth. surname.
With Twitter access blocked in Iran, that battle is mostly taking place outside the country.