Iran on Tuesday 30th June 2020 sentenced a journalist Ruhollah Zam to death after he was accused of inspiring the 2017 riots which left some 5,000 people detained and 25 dead.

Who Is Journalist Ruhollah Zam

He is the son of a cleric and managed a Telegram channel that spread messages about the protests that made the regime stumble. He also ran a site called AmadNews, where he broadcast videos and compromising information on officials.

Iran sentenced an exiled journalist to death for his internet work that helped inspire nationwide economic protests that erupted in late 2017 across the country, authorities said on Tuesday.

Ruhollah Zam had returned to the Islamic Republic under unclear circumstances and was arrested some time later.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced Zam’s death sentence on Tuesday, saying he had been convicted of “corruption on Earth,” a charge often used in cases of espionage or attempts to overthrow the government of Iran. It was not immediately clear when the sentence was handed down.

The journalist can appeal his sentence, issued by a Revolutionary Court. The name of his public defender was not immediately known.

Zam ran a site called AmadNews that posted videos and compromising information on Iranian officials. He was living and working in exile in Paris before being convinced to return to Iran, where he was arrested in October 2019. He later appeared in televised confessions admitting his mistakes and apologizing for his activities.

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Among the activities considered illegal, he managed a channel on the Telegram messaging application that spread messages about the protests in 2017 and shared videos of the demonstration. This gave him wide notoriety at the time, including among the Iranian authorities who wanted to end the mobilizations.

The initial spark for the 2017 protests was a sudden jump in food prices . Opponents of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are believed by many to have instigated the first demonstrations in the conservative city of Mashhad in eastern Iran, trying to direct public anger towards the president. But as the protests spread from town to town, the reaction turned against the entire ruling class.

The 2017 protests left some 5,000 people detained and 25 dead.

Zam is the son of Shiite cleric Mohammad Ali Zam , a reformer who held a government post in the early 1980s. The religious man wrote a letter published by Iranian media in July 2017 in which he said he would not support his son for his I work on AmadNews and the messages on their Telegram channel.

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Journalist Ruhollah Zam’s Prison for an investigator

In a separate case, the spokesperson for the judiciary said an appeals court had upheld a previous prison sentence for Fariba Adelkhah , a prominent investigator with dual Franco-Iranian citizenship. Esmaili said he received two separate sentences, a five-year prison sentence and a one-year sentence on security charges. According to Iranian law, the longest sentence is that served by a convicted person and his time in prison will count towards the sentence.

Iranian officials revealed last July that Adelkhah had been arrested on espionage charges . Those charges were later dropped, but security-related charges remained against him.

Adelkhah and his fellow French investigator, Roland Marchal, were detained at Evin prison in Iran . Authorities released Marchal in March in an apparent prisoner exchange for Iranian Jalal Ruhollahnejad, who had been detained in France.

Iran , which does not recognize dual nationality for its citizens, has a history of arrests of people with dual nationality or people connected to the West