Iran journalist who fuelled 2017 protests sentenced to death

Ruhollah Zam sentenced to death judiciary spox

Zam later appeared in televised confessions admitting his wrongdoings and offering an apology for his past activities.

That charge is often used in cases involving espionage or attempts to overthrow Iran's government.

The son of a pro-reform Shi'ite cleric, Zam headed Amadnews, which had more 1 million followers on social media before it was suspended by the messaging app Telegram in 2018 after Iran accused it of carrying calls for violence during the protests.

Zam ran a channel on the messaging app Telegram that spread messages about upcoming protests in 2017 and shared videos from the demonstration.

The sentence can be appealed before the supreme court, he said, quoted by the judiciary's official website.

At the time, the IRGC said that "the French intelligence service was behind Zam's activities, which were also backed by the US and Zionist regime's spy services" and that Zam "was supported by those intelligence services to foment a psychological war on Iran in order to create divisions inside the country, especially targeting the younger generations".

He ran the Amadnews website, a popular anti-government forum which Iran accuses of inciting the nationwide protests of 2017-18. But as protests spread from town to town, the backlash turned against the entire ruling class.

"A Telegram channel is urging people to incite insecurity and use home-made bombs and arms".

"His Telegram channel routinely carried stories and exclusives about alleged corruption", said Baig.

Zam had been living in exile in France, but was arrested previous year.

At least 25 people were killed during the demonstrations and about 5,000 were detained.

During his trial by the Revolutionary Court the 46-year-old Zam refuted all the charges brought against him by the prosecutor, including the charges of "collusion to take criminal action against national security", espionage, and "insults against sanctities".

Zam, the son of reformist cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, can appeal the verdict.

Esmaili said she had been handed two separate sentences, one for five years, and another for one year on security charges, and that under Iranian law, the longer sentence is the one a convict serves. He said her time spent in jail will count toward the sentence. Those charges were later dropped, but security-related charges remained against her.

Ms Adelkhah and her French fellow researcher, Roland Marchal, were held in Iran's Evin Prison.

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