Iran executes opposition figure Ruhollah Zam

Iran executes opposition figure Ruhollah Zam

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Tehran: A few days after the Iranian authorities upheld the death penalty on Saturday, the Iranian authorities executed Ruhollah Zam on Saturday, who had been in exile in France and was involved in anti-government protests.

State television said the “counter-revolutionary” Zam was hanged in the morning after the supreme court upheld his sentence due to “the severity of the crimes” committed against the Islamic republic.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili had on Tuesday said Zam’s sentence was upheld by the supreme court “more than a month ago”.

London-based human rights group Amnesty International, in a statement after his verdict was confirmed, described Zam as a “journalist and dissident”.

It said the confirmation marked “a shocking escalation in the use of the death penalty as a weapon of repression”.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced the arrest of Zam in October 2019, claiming that Zam was “commanded by French intelligence.”

State TV stated that he was “protected by several national intelligence agencies.”

The official IRNA news agency said he was also convicted of espionage for France and an unnamed country in the region, cooperating with the “hostile government of America”, acting against “the country’s security”, insulting the “sanctity of Islam” and instigating violence during protests in 2017.

At least 25 people were killed during the unrest in December 2017 and January 2018 that was sparked by economic hardship.

Zam, who was granted political asylum in France and reportedly lived in Paris, ran a channel on the Telegram messaging app called Amadnews.

Telegram shut down the channel after Iran demanded it remove the account for inciting an “armed uprising”.

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