Union presidential candidate responds to 'fascist' social media like

By Tarini Tiwari, Rory Bathgate, Alex Charilaou, and Alejandro Javierre

Controversy has been sparked as a presidential candidate’s association with extreme political views have resurfaced online.

Samir Sadeghi, a candidate for this year’s Kent Union presidential elections, was widely condemned on social media for liking an image of the British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley a year ago.

In response to the accusations, Samir said on Instagram: “I am not a fascist, I never have been and never will be.”

“I have been subject to vilification and harassment from people that claim to be advocates of mental health.”

The image was from a page named “British Falangists”, in reference to an ultra-conservative movement from Francoist Spain which has been linked with the rise of fascism in the country.

As part of an interview series with all candidates running in the union elections, InQuire spoke to Samir Sadeghi, who elaborated on his response to the allegations.

Regarding his past extreme political views, Mr Sadeghi said: “They were the darkest days of my life, I was in no end of destruction.”

He was open about having had counselling in the last few years and said: “You get told to accept your past and move on, but I’m still attacked for it even though I’ve changed.”

Mr Sadeghi refers to himself as ‘apolitical’, but in the past referred to himself as a far-right and far-left extremist.

When asked about this past, he replied: “The far left and far right are exactly the same as each other, intolerant.”

He denied claims that his campaign or his presidential policies are fascist, stating that calling him fascist “debases the term”.

He has added that it was a ‘horrible period’ for his mental health, and that he regrets the decisions he has made in the past.

Mr Sadeghi says that he is running for Kent Union President in an effort to “give back for what I’ve done”.

After the image surfaced, Samir’s campaign account received numerous derogatory comments.

University meme page Templeman Memes said: “We do not condone mob justice and acts of harassment against students.”

“As opinion leaders we take accountability for our actions, as should we all.”

A full-length interview and analysis of Mr Sadeghi’s campaign, along with all other candidates, will be posted soon.

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