Iran executes journalist who backed 2017 protests

Iran executes journalist who backed 2017 protests
Ruhollah Zam (file/AP)
Tehran, Dec 12 (IANS) | Publish Date: 12/12/2020 12:35:25 PM IST

An Iranian journalist, accused of fanning unrest during the 2017-18 nationwide protests, was executed on Saturday after the Supreme Court upheld a death sentence against him.

According to a BBC report, Ruhollah Zam, who ran the anti-government Amadnews website, was hanged on Saturday morning.

The Iranian government has accused the news portal of inciting the 2017-18 unrest after it shared videos of protests and damaging information about officials.

The BBC said the journalist, who had been living in exile in France, was reportedly detained while travelling to Iraq last year.

Details of his arrest however remains unclear.

But a news report on the Amadnews’ website quoted the journalist’s wife as saying that Zam was lured to Iraq in September 2019 and was kidnapped and transferred to Iran by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and convicted to death.

The spokesperson for the Islamic Republic’s judiciary announced four days ago that the supreme court had approved Zam’s sentence, the Amadnews report added.

According to Amadnews, Zam’s closed-door trial began in February 2020 and ended in May.

“The proceedings were secret and Zam was not allowed to choose a defence attorney,” it said.

The court charged Zam with “assembly and conspiracy with intent to commit crimes against national and international security”, encouraging people “to wage war and riot, effective persuasion of devoted members of the armed forces to mutiny, desert, or refuse to perform their military duties”.

In a statement earlier, the IRGC had alleged that Zam was “under the guidance” and protection of intelligence services in France, Israel and the US.

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