Iran journalist sentenced to death

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Ruhollah Zam turned against the establishment after the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests, and was imprisoned in Evin Prison for some time. Zam fled Iran to reside in France.

TEHRAN — Iran has sentenced to death a journalist whose online work helped inspire the 2017 economic protests and who returned from exile to Tehran.

The judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, made the announcement on Tuesday.

He said Ruhollah Zam had been sentenced to death.

Zam had run a website called AmadNews that posted embarrassing videos and information about Iranian officials. He had been living and working in exile in Paris before being convinced into returning to Iran, where he was arrested in October 2019.

Zam later appeared in televised confessions admitting his wrongdoings and offering an apology for his past activities.

Zam ran a channel on the messaging app Telegram that spread messages about upcoming protests in 2017 and shared videos from the demonstration. That gained him widespread notoriety at the time, including from Iranian authorities wanting to end the protests.

He was born into a clerical family in Tehran in 1978. His father, Mohammad-Ali Zam, is a reformist who served in senior government positions in the 1980s and 1990s. Ruhollah Zam turned against the establishment after the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests, and was imprisoned in Evin Prison for some time. Zam fled Iran to reside in France.

Last week, eight Iranian protesters were charged with “spreading corruption on earth,” a crime punishable by death. This came days after the country’s highest judicial authority upheld the death sentences of three other protesters.

The cases of eight protesters have been finalized, and they have been charged with “spreading corruption on earth” in Isfahan, the state-run Quds Online reported the province’s chief justice Mohammadreza Habibi as saying.

“If laws are broken, like what happened in 2009, 2017 and November last year, we will definitely deal decisively with the insurgents and the rioters,” Habibi said.

Habibi did not say whether the eight individuals he referenced were arrested during the 2009, 2017 or 2019 protests. — Agencies


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