Iran Passes Death Sentence on Journalist Who Fueled 2017 Nationwide Protests

Published June 30th, 2020 - 08:46 GMT
 Iranian students protest at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. (AFP/File)
Iranian students protest at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. (AFP/File)

Iran on Tuesday sentenced a journalist to death whose online work helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017.

Ruhollah Zam had returned to Iran under unclear circumstances and was subsequently arrested. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced Zam's sentence on Tuesday.

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.

Telegram shut down the channel over Iranian government complaints it spread information about how to make gasoline bombs. The channel later continued under a different name.

Zam is the son of Shiite cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, a reformist who once served in a government policy position in the early 1980s. The cleric wrote a letter published by Iranian media in July 2017 in which he said he wouldn’t support his son over AmadNews’ reporting and messages on its Telegram channel.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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