Iran on Saturday executed a former journalist who was kidnapped for its online activity that helped fuel economic protests across the country in 2017, officials said, just months after returning to Tehran under mysterious circumstances.
Charges Against The Journalist
Zam’s website AmadNews and the channel he created in the popular messaging app were a time of protests and scandalous information about officials who were directly challenging the Shiite empire of Iran.
2017 Protests In Iran
The protests, which began at the end of 2017, represented a major challenge in Iran since the Green Movement protests in 2009 and began a series of similar riots in November last year.
The first spark of the 2017 protests was a sudden rise in food prices. Many believe that radical opposition from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sparked the first protests in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, in an attempt to anger the president. But as protests spread throughout the city and town, the violence turned to the rest of the ruling class.
Suddenly, the outrageous cries of Rouhani and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were heard in online videos shared with Zam. Zam’s channel also shared timing details of the protest organization.
Telegram shut down the station due to complaints from the Iranian government that it was distributing information on how to make petrol bombs. The channel later went on under a different name. Zam, who said he fled Iran after being falsely accused of collaborating with foreign intelligence agencies, denied that he was inciting violence in the Telegram at the time.
The 2017 protests reportedly killed about 5,000 people and killed 25 others.
The details of his arrest are still unclear. Although based in Paris, Zam somehow returned to Iran and found himself in the custody of intelligence officials. He’s one of several opposition figures in exile who have been returned to Iran over the last year.
About The Journalist And Reactions
France has previously condemned its death sentence as “a serious violation of the right to freedom of expression and media freedom in Iran.”
A series of confession was shown on television earlier this year in his career.
In an interview in July, Zam said he had lost 30 pounds since his arrest in October 2019. He said following his arrest he could meet his father after nine years with his mother and sister after six years.
Zam is the son of Shiite cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, a revolutionary activist who previously served in a government policy position in the early 1980’s. The pastor wrote a letter released by Iranian media in July 2017 in which he said he would not support his son regarding AmadNews reporting and messages on his Telegram channel.
Iranian state television and state news agency IRNA say Ruhollah Zam, 47, was hanged early Saturday morning. The reports were not extensive.
In June, a court sentenced Zam to death, saying he had been found guilty of “corruption on Earth,” a charge that was widely used in cases involving intelligence or attempting to overthrow the Iranian government.