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Iranian Journalist Sentenced to Death

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

• Ruholla Zam, a former Iranian Journalist, has been sentenced to death on thirteen counts of charges.

• One of those charges, is ‘Corruption on Earth’, which is often used in cases involving espionage and attempts to overthrow the government.

• In 2017, there was a series of public protests across various cities over Iran’s poor economic performance. Despite condemnation from the Iranian authorities, Ruholla Zam had inspired many to join the protests.

• Ruholla Zam used to operate a channel on Telegram called “Amad News”. He was exiled and was living in France until he was somehow convinced to return to Iran. After returning, he had been arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

• Telegram later took down Amad News due to repeated complaints from the Iranian Government. But, the channel continued to operate under a different name.

• There have been many instances in the past where the Iranian authorities have enforced control on domestic media, and until the 2009 crackdown, the media was regulated by a string of laws governing print, broadcast, and online content.

• Article 24 of the Iranian constitution says that while "publications and the press have freedom of expression," it is unlawful to express views that "harm the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public." The Press Law of 1986 (updated in 2000) specifies the boundaries, like "promoting subjects who might damage the foundation of the Islamic Republic," "offending the Leader of the Revolution and recognized religious authorities," and "propagating luxury and extravagance." Violators face months of jail time, fines, even lashings at times.

• Due to this, the Iranian press’s freedom had been fluctuating for a long time, and it still is to a large extent.

Reporter : Jovan H

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