Iran Sentences Former Journalist to Death For Fuelling Anti-Govt Unrest

The elite IRGC described Zam as a'counter-revolutionary who was'directed by France's intelligence service

The 2017 protests represented the biggest challenge to Iran since postelection mass unrest in 2009 and set the stage for similar revolts in November 2019. It was not clear when the sentence was handed down.

According to Zam, his channel shared logistical information about the late 2017 anti-government protests and circulated videos from the demonstrations.

Zam's channel also shared times and organizational details for the protests as well.

Ruhollah Zam was arrested after a complex intelligence operation and through cooperation with other intelligence services in mid-October, 2019.

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

Zam, who reportedly lived in Paris, ran a channel on the Telegram messaging application called Amadnews.

He explained that 13 of his accusations have been identified as "Corrupt on Earth", which is a title of capital crimes in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Court spokesperson Gholam-Hussein Ismaili said Zam can still appeal to the country's highest court.

At the time, he was accused by authorities of playing an active role in anti-government protests sparked by economic hardships during the winter of 2017-18.

"A Telegram channel is urging people to incite insecurity and use home-made bombs and arms".

During his trial by the Revolutionary Court the 46-year-old Zam refuted all the charges brought against him by the prosecutor, including the charges of "collusion to take criminal action against national security", espionage, and "insults against sanctities".

Zam is the son of Shiite cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, a reformist who 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.

The sentence could be appealed before the supreme court, he said, quoted by the judiciary's official website. He said her time spent in jail will count toward the sentence. Those charges were dropped but security-related charges remained against her. Authorities released Mr Marchal in March in an apparent prisoner swap for Iranian Jalal Ruhollahnejad, who was held in France.

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