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Iran executes journalist who encouraged 2017 protests

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47-year-old Ruhollah Zam, who was convicted of “corruption on Earth,” was hanged early Saturday.

Iran on Saturday executed a once-exiled journalist over his on-line work that helped encourage nationwide financial protests in 2017, authorities mentioned, simply months after he returned to Tehran below mysterious circumstances.

Also learn: Editorial | Iran on the boil

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

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

Also learn: Comment | Behind the craze, Iranians dream of democracy

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 straight challenged Iran’s Shiite theocracy.

Those demonstrations, which started on the finish of 2017, represented the largest problem to Iran for the reason that 2009 Green Movement protests and set the stage for comparable mass unrest in November of final 12 months.

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

Soon, cries straight difficult Mr. Rouhani and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could possibly be heard in on-line movies shared by Zam. Zam’s channel additionally shared instances and organisational particulars for the protests.

Telegram shut down the channel over Iranian authorities complaints it unfold details about how you can make gasoline bombs. The channel later continued below a special identify. Zam, who has mentioned 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 folks detained and 25 killed.

The particulars of his arrest nonetheless stay unclear. Though he was based mostly in Paris, Zam someway returned to Iran and located himself detained by intelligence officers. He’s certainly one of a number of opposition figures in exile who have been returned to Iran over the past 12 months.

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

A sequence of a televised confessions aired earlier this 12 months over his work.

During an interview on July, Zam mentioned he has misplaced some 30 kilograms (66 kilos) since his arrest in October 2019. He mentioned 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 1980s. The cleric wrote a letter revealed by Iranian media in July 2017 wherein he mentioned he wouldn’t assist his son over AmadNews’ reporting and messages on its Telegram channel.

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