Iran Executes Opposition Figure Ruhollah Zam

Iran authorities on Saturday carried out Ruhollah Zam, a previous opposition figure who had lived in exile in France and was implicated in anti-government demonstrations, days after his sentence was supported.

State television stated the “counter-revolutionary” Zam was awaited the morning after the supreme court promoted his sentence due to “the intensity of the criminal activities” committed against the Islamic republic.

Judiciary representative Gholamhossein Esmaili had on Tuesday stated Zam’s sentence was supported by the supreme court “more than a month earlier”.

London-based human rights group Amnesty International, in a statement after his verdict was verified, explained Zam as a “reporter and dissident”.

It stated the confirmation marked “a shocking escalation in the use of the capital punishment as a weapon of repression”.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards revealed the arrest of Zam in October 2019, declaring he had actually been “directed by France’s intelligence service”.

State television stated he was “under the defense of a number of nations’ intelligence services”.

The official IRNA news company stated he was likewise founded guilty of espionage for France and an unnamed nation in the area, complying with the “hostile government of America”, acting against “the country’s security”, insulting the “sanctity of Islam” and prompting violence during protests in 2017.

At least 25 individuals were eliminated during the discontent in December 2017 and January 2018 that was stimulated by economic hardship.

Zam, who was given political asylum in France and supposedly resided in Paris, ran a channel on the Telegram messaging app called Amadnews.

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

Zam was charged with “corruption in the world”– among the most major offences under Iranian law– and sentenced to death in June.

As his trial began, state television broadcast a “documentary” about Zam’s “relations” with the Islamic republic’s enemies.

The broadcaster also aired an “interview” with him in July, in which he is seen stating he thought in reformism till he was apprehended in 2009 during protests against the disputed re-election of ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

He likewise denied having instigated violence through his Telegram channel.

Ruhollah Zam, a previous opposition figure who had resided in exile in France and had been linked in anti-government demonstrations, speaks throughout his trial at the Revolutionary Court in Tehran in June MIZAN NEWS/ ALI SHIRBAND

Amnesty has actually consistently called on Iran to stop transmitting videos of “confessions” by suspects, saying they “breach the offenders’ rights”.

On Saturday, the rights group called his execution a “lethal blow” to freedom of expression.

Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East, stated she was “stunned and horrified” at his death, adding that the organisation believed it was “a guilty bid to prevent a global project to conserve his life”.

The European Union on Saturday condemned Zam’s execution “in the greatest terms”, a statement from the EU External Action Service said, reiterating the bloc’s “irrevocable opposition to making use of capital penalty under any scenarios”.

” It is also crucial for the Iranian authorities to promote the due procedure rights of accused individuals and to stop the practice of utilizing televised confessions to establish and promote their regret,” the declaration included.

Zam had actually lived in exile in France for numerous years prior to being detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards under unclear situations.

Paris-based press rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Saturday it was “outraged” by the execution.

RSF had formerly declared that Zam had actually disappeared on a trip to Baghdad in October 2019, and accused Iran of kidnaping him in Iraq to face trial back house.

Zam is among numerous people to have actually been sentenced to death over involvement or links to demonstrations that rocked Iran in between 2017 and 2019.

Navid Afkari, a 27-year-old wrestler, was carried out at a prison in the southern city of Shiraz in September.

The judiciary stated he had actually been condemned of “voluntary homicide” for stabbing to death a civil servant in August 2018.

Shiraz and other city centres had been the scene of anti-government protests at the time.

3 young men were also sentenced to death over links to deadly 2019 demonstrations, however Iran’s supreme court stated last week that it would retry them at the demand of their defence groups.

Their sentences were at first supported, with the judiciary saying evidence had actually been discovered on their phones of them setting alight banks, buses and public structures.

Amnesty International said Iran executed at least 251 people in 2015, the world’s 2nd highest overall after China.

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