A journalist imprisoned for reporting content in opposition to the Iranian regime had his death penalty upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court, as reported on Tuesday by Iranian media outlets.
Ruhollah Zam was sentenced to death in June based on content he published three years ago that included information about protests against the regime as well as “embarrassing information about officials that directly challenged Iran’s Shiite theocracy,” according to reports.
The Iranian court believed Zam was involved with foreign intelligence services and was attempting to overthrow the Iranian regime, referring to his conviction as “corruption on Earth.”
Zam’s social media channel on the popular communication app, Telegram, was shut down in response to allegations from the Iranian regime that Zam was inciting violence, which Zam denied.
Some of the content shared by Zam included videos of protestors directly opposing Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Rouhani.
The 2017 protests, which were initially influenced by a spike in the cost of food in Iran, quickly escalated into a movement against the entire regime with a targeted message for its leaders.
If the courts adhere to Islamic law, Zam will receive one more opportunity to appeal his case.
It is unclear how Zam was arrested, as he had previously fled Iran following accusations of espionage, according to The Associated Press.
Iran’s regime is notorious for arresting and executing political dissidents, and according to the Radio Free Europe’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, Iran ranks 179th out of 180 countries.