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Iranian journalist sentenced to death after returning from Paris

The Iranian journalist is sentenced to death three years after inspiring anti-government protests

  • Ruhollah Zam had a website with information about Iranian officials
  • He lived and worked in exile in Paris before returning to Iran and was arrested
  • His death sentence was announced on Tuesday morning

An Iranian journalist whose online work inspired the country’s economic protests in 2017 has been sentenced to death.

Ruhollah Zam had a website called AmadNews that posted embarrassing videos and information about Iranian officials.

He lived and worked in exile in Paris before he was convinced to return to Iran, where he was arrested in October 2019.

Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam (pictured on June 2) whose online work inspired the country's economic protests in 2017 has been sentenced to death

Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam (pictured on June 2) whose online work inspired the country’s economic protests in 2017 has been sentenced to death

Zam later appeared on television confessions admitting his mistakes and apologizing for his previous activities.

Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced Zam’s sentence on Tuesday morning.

Zam had a channel on the messaging app Telegram that spread reports of upcoming protests in 2017 and shared videos of the demonstration.

This earned him great fame and caught the attention of the Iranian authorities.

Zam had a channel on the messaging app Telegram that spread reports of upcoming protests in 2017 and shared videos of the demonstration. Above, university students attend a protest at the University of Tehran, while anti-riot Iranian police prevent them from joining other protesters, in Tehran, December 2017

Zam had a channel on the messaging app Telegram that spread reports of upcoming protests in 2017 and shared videos of the demonstration. Above, university students attend a protest at the University of Tehran, while anti-riot Iranian police prevent them from joining other protesters, in Tehran, December 2017

Zam had a channel on the messaging app Telegram that spread reports of upcoming protests in 2017 and shared videos of the demonstration. Above, university students attend a protest at the University of Tehran, while anti-riot Iranian police prevent them from joining other protesters, in Tehran, December 2017

Telegram closed the channel due to complaints from the Iranian government and disseminated information on the making of petrol bombs. The channel later continued under a different name.

Zam is the son of Shia cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, a reformist who served in government policy in the early 1980s.

The cleric wrote a letter published by the Iranian media in July 2017 saying that he would not support his son because of AmadNews’ messages and posts on his Telegram channel.

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