Iran executes journalist who encouraged 2017 protests – The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran on Saturday executed a as soon as-exiled journalist over his on-line work that helped encourage nationwide financial protests in 2017, authorities stated, simply months after he returned to Tehran beneath mysterious circumstances.

Iranian state tv and the state-run IRNA information company stated that Ruhollah Zam, 47, was hanged early Saturday morning. The reviews didn’t elaborate.

In June, a court docket sentenced Zam to dying, saying he had been convicted of “corruption on Earth,” a cost usually utilized in circumstances involving espionage or makes an attempt to overthrow Iran’s authorities.

Zam’s web site AmadNews and a channel he created on the favored messaging app Telegram had unfold the timings of the protests and embarrassing details about officers that instantly challenged Iran’s Shiite theocracy.

These demonstrations, which started on the finish of 2017, represented the most important problem to Iran because the 2009 Inexperienced Motion protests and set the stage for comparable mass unrest in November of final yr.

The preliminary spark for the 2017 protests was a sudden leap in meals costs. Many imagine that onerous-line opponents of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani instigated the primary demonstrations within the conservative metropolis of Mashhad in northeastern Iran, attempting to direct public anger on the president. However as protests unfold from city to city, the backlash turned towards the complete ruling class.

Quickly, cries instantly difficult Rouhani and even Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could possibly be heard in on-line movies shared by Zam. Zam’s channel additionally shared occasions and organizational particulars for the protests.

Telegram shut down the channel over Iranian authorities complaints it unfold details about make gasoline bombs. The channel later continued beneath a special identify. Zam, who has stated he fled Iran after being falsely accused of working with international intelligence companies, denied inciting violence on Telegram on the time.

The 2017 protests reportedly noticed some 5,000 individuals detained and 25 killed.

The particulars of his arrest nonetheless stay unclear. Although he was based mostly in Paris, Zam one way or the other returned to Iran and located himself detained by intelligence officers. He’s one among a number of opposition figures in exile who have been returned to Iran during the last yr.

France beforehand has criticized his dying sentence as “a severe blow to freedom of expression and press freedom in Iran.”

A sequence of a televised confessions aired earlier this yr over his work.

Throughout an interview on July, Zam stated he has misplaced some 30 kilograms (66 kilos) since his arrest in October 2019. He stated following the arrest that he might meet his father after 9 years and his mom and sister after some six years.

Zam is the son of Shiite cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, a reformist who as soon as served in a authorities coverage place within the early Eighties. The cleric wrote a letter revealed by Iranian media in July 2017 through which he stated he wouldn’t assist his son over AmadNews’ reporting and messages on its Telegram channel.


Associated Press author Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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