Careful What You Read

Attribution ro Darafsh – Own Work

As per usual, once I woke up this morning I went through the internet on my phone. I saw a blaring headline “Iran Issues Mass Execution for Over 15,000 Protesters”. Kept scrolling over the headlines and I saw similar versions of the same headline. Adding fuel to the fire, social media posts by celebrities such as Peter Frampton (younger generations Google him) and Sophie Turner, reflecting these headlines, went viral.

Donald Trump once said something to the effect (sorry Cassidy Hutchinson) “don’t believe what you see on tv”. Well, in this case, with regard to this headline he may have a point. This all started with a Newsweek article that had the following headline.

“Iran Protesters Refuse to Back Down as 15,000 Face Execution”

The first paragraph stated that 15,000 protesters have been arrested, so far, and are facing the death penalty. In fact, I did a chirp, a couple of days ago, saying that 1,000 Iranians have been indicted on charges punishable by death. In the second paragraph of the article, Newsweek stated that the Iranian parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of the death penalty for protesters. They made this statement based on the following letter signed by 227 of the 290 Iranian parliament members.

“We, the representatives of this nation, ask all state officials, including the judiciary, to treat those, who waged war [against the Islamic establishment] and attacked people’s life and property like the Daesh [terrorists], in a way that would serve as a good lesson in the shortest possible time,”

They added that such punishment would

prove to all that life, property, security and honor of our dear people is a red line for this [Islamic] establishment and that it would show no leniency to anybody in this regard.”

This is frightening. It truly issue. Those statements cannot be watered down. However, the Iranian parliament does not have the power to passs sentences. It is the Iranian judiciary that does so. One person, so far, has received a death sentence. There may be more. But to say that a mass execution order for 15,000 protesters has been issued is simply misleading.

I do not want to diminish, in any way, the courage of the Iranian protesters in their fight for freedoms. At the same, time we cannot fall into misinformation traps. It has happened way too often of late.

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