a virtual campaign to save the lives of three young demonstrators in Iran

The Iranian Web is, these days, the scene of the largest virtual campaign ever waged by Iranians. The goal: to prevent the execution of Amir Hossein Moradi, Said Tamjidi and Mohammad Rajabi, three young people sentenced to death for having taken part in the anti-power protest of November 2019, in Tehran. With a simple hashtag, “Don’t run them” in Persian, Iranians from all walks of life have invested in social networks Twitter – banned in Iran, but accessible by anti-censorship software – and Instagram to prevent their execution.

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It took less than twenty-four hours, after its launch on Tuesday, July 14, for the virtual campaign to bear some fruit: the lawyers of the convicted were able to consult their file for the first time. Even if, for the moment, the death sentence pronounced against the three demonstrators has not been suspended, their lawyers were able to write, after reading their file, a request for reconsideration of the case and send it to justice.

In November 2019, following the announcement of a price increase at the pump by the Iranian state, demonstrations broke out across the country, quickly turning into a political protest directed against all of the country’s leaders. Amnesty International estimates that the deadly crackdown on the movement has left at least 304 people dead and that thousands of protesters have been arrested. To prevent the spread of information about the movement and its repression, for the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran, leaders cut the Internet throughout the country for at least a week.

“You will run out of ropes”

Since the announcement, by Iranian justice, of the confirmation on appeal of the death penalty for the three young demonstrators, on July 14, the hashtag “Don’t run them” has been used more than 8 million times on Twitter. In this campaign, remarkable for its scope and scale, took part athletes, politicians and academics, as well as movie stars such as the famous Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A separation, 2011).

Athletes, politicians and academics, as well as film stars, took part in this campaign, remarkable for its scope and magnitude.

“You will run out of hanged ropes. We are numerous. Don’t run them! “, wrote on Instagram the footballer Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri. These words have been widely relayed on other platforms. The campaign has grown to such an extent that even some Iranian newspapers, plagued by censorship and pressure from the regime, have devoted their front pages to it. “Awaiting the suspension of the verdict”, headlined the daily Hamshahri July 16.

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