Once-exiled Iranian Journalist whose fierceness in his online work inspired nation-wide economic protests or mass anti-government protests in 2017, has been sentenced to death.
Though based in Paris, Ruhollah Zam returned to Iran after a series of unclear circumstances and was sequentially arrested. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced Ruhollah Zam’s death sentence on Tuesday.
Ruhollah Zam’s website AmadNews and channels he created on popular messaging app Telegram had spread words about the timings of the protest and published sensitive and embarrassing information about the government officials which openly challenged the theocracy of Iranian rule. This information which was made public posed a threat to Iran ever since the 2009 Green Movement Protests. This movement has set a stage for mass unrest and upheaval in last November.
Thousands were detained by the police and 25 people were killed. These protests and popularity gained him widespread notoriety at the time. Telegram shut down the channel due to the government’s incessant complaints about spreading information on how to make petrol bombs. Although, he appeared in televised confessions, where he apologized for his past activities.
Esmaili said a Revolutionary Court had convicted Zam of “Corruption on Earth,” a charge which is often leveled in cases allegedly involving espionage or attempts to overthrow Iran’s government. However, the details of his arrest were not clear when the sentence was handed down.
His father, a Shia cleric named Mohammad Ali Zam wrote a letter to the Iranian government which was published by the Iranian media in July 2017 stating that he does not condone his son over AmadNew’s reporting and messages that were widespread on the Telegram.