Selin ATAY-TDO- Iran executed regime opposition journalist over his online work that helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017.

Iranian state television and the state-run IRNA news agency reported that 47-year-old editor of Amad News Ruhollah Zam was hanged early Saturday morning after Supreme Court decision.

Zam was sentenced to death in June on charges of “spreading mischief on earth,” a charge often used by the Revolutionary Court in cases involving espionage or attempts to overthrow the Iranian government.

Zam’s website Amad News stands for “awareness raising, struggle, democracy". The website, which started operating via Telegram in 2015, has been prominent with anti-regime news and has reached more than 1 million followers in a short time. The account, which disseminated the timing of the protests and embarrassing information about officials directly challenging Iran's Shia theocracy, was shut down after nearly 2 years. The channel later continued under a different name.

Zam has said he fled Iran after being falsely accused of working with foreign intelligence services.  Zam, who lived in exile in Paris for a period, had returned to the Tehran under  “mysterious circumstances” last year. Zam was later detained in October 2019 for" carrying out anti-revolutionary activities".

The demonstrations sparked by a sudden jump in food prices at the late 2017, were the largest demonstrations in Iran since the 2009 Green Movement protest. In Iran, about 5 thousand people were detained and 25 people killed during demonstrations in 2017 to protest the deteriorating economy and the cost of living.

France previously has criticised his death sentence as "a serious blow to freedom of expression and press freedom in Iran.”

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