Iran has sentenced Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam, who played a major role in the protests in Iran in 2017 and 2018, to death. Zam had a website called Amadnews, which reported critically on the government through the Telegram app.
He disappeared in October 2019. Before that, he had worked and lived in France for years. It is unclear where and when Zam was arrested. His wife previously told BBC that he was on a business trip to Iraq at the time of the arrest and was suddenly no longer available by phone.
His arrest was announced on state television. Today, the judicial spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, announced that Zam is being executed.
“Corruption on Earth”
According to Esmaili, Zam has been convicted of “corruption on Earth,” an accusation often used when the government says there have been spies or attempts to overthrow the Iranian government. Zam can appeal his verdict, reports news agency AP.
Zam had about 1.4 million followers with Amadnews and shared videos of protests and harmful information about Iranian authorities. He also shared instructions for making Molotov cocktails. The website was removed earlier, because according to the Iranian government it promoted “an armed uprising”. Later, the site was restarted under a different name.
The site played a major role during the protests in Iran in 2017 and 2018. Because other social media were blocked, Amadnews was one of the few media to share information about the protests.
Zam has been watched by the Iranian government for years, the BBC reports. He was arrested in 2009 after the presidential election. He left Iran shortly afterwards and went to live in France.
According to Iran, Zam was supported by foreign intelligence services.