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Trump urges Iran not to execute three protesters

President Donald Trump speaks to graduating cadets at the United States Military Academy, Saturday, June 13, 2020, in West Point, N.Y. (United States Military Academy/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. President Donald Trump has urged Iran not to execute three people who were given death sentences for taking part in protests in 2019.

“Three individuals were sentenced to death in Iran for participating in protests,” Trump said in a posting on Twitter on July 15. “The execution is expected momentarily. Executing these three people sends a terrible signal to the world and should not be done!”

Iran’s judiciary said on July 14 that a court had upheld the death sentences for criminal actions during protests last November sparked by a hike in gasoline prices.

Reports have named the three as Amirhossein Moradi, a 26-year-old who worked at a cell-phone retailer; Said Tamjidi, a 28-year-old student; and Mohammad Rajabi, also 26.

More than 2 million people expressed their opposition to the death sentences using the #NoToExecution hashtag, as well as others, over the past 24 hours, according to media reports.

Opponents included well-known Iranian cultural figures such as Oscar-winning film-maker Asghar Farhadi.

“Don’t make the sad lives of Iranians even more bitter,” he wrote on Instagram, using the hashtags #StopExecutionsInIran and #DoNotExecute. He also posted photographs of the three men who face execution.

Iran was rocked by days of unrest following a hike in petrol prices in November 2019. The protests were violently suppressed by security forces.

Iranian authorities have still not released reliable information on the numbers of fatalities during the unrest.

A senior Iranian lawmaker said in June that 230 were killed and thousands injured during the protests, while the United States put the number killed at more than 1,000.