Iran executes journalist dissident Ruhollah Zam – report

Journalist Ruhollah Zam (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iranian dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam, who was convicted of fomenting violence during the 2017 anti-government protests, was executed on Saturday, according to Iran’s semi-official Nour news agency.

Iran’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence of Zam, who was captured in 2019 after years in exile.

Spokesman of the Iranian Supreme Court Gholamhossein Esmaili said Zam had been convicted of “corruption on Earth”, a charge often used in cases involving espionage or attempts to overthrow Iran’s government, AP reported.

Iran sentenced Zam to death in January over his online work that helped inspire nationwide economic protests.

His website and a channel he created on the popular messaging app Telegram had spread the timings of the protests and embarrassing information about officials that directly challenged Iran’s Shia theocracy, according to AP.

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

In October 2019, Iran’s paramilitary revolutionary guards alleged Zam was supported by the intelligence services of the U.S., France and Israel, something the journalist long denied.

Zam is the son of Shiite cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, a reformist who once served in a government policy position in the early 1980s, AFP said. 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.

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