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Iran sentences dissident journalist to death

Iran sees Rouhollah Zam as an enemy of the state in part as a result of his controversial coverage of anti-government protests in Iran; Iranian Supreme Court also upholds a five-year sentence for French-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah.

Following monthslong proceedings, the Iranian judiciary has given the death penalty to Rouhollah Zam, the 47-year-old journalist who founded and operated Amad News, which served as an opposition outlet on the social media platform Telegram.

Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esameeli told a televised briefing June 30 that the verdict is still subject to appeal and a final ruling lies with Iran’s Supreme Court. Given the sensitivity and high-profile nature of the case, however, an acquittal appears unlikely. Zam was tried on 17 counts of "security" charges, ranging from espionage for Israel and France to inciting deadly violence, leaking classified intelligence and insulting the Iranian supreme leader. Esmaeeli said 13 of those charges were instances of “corruption on earth,” a wide-ranging felony punishable by execution under the Islamic Republic’s penal code.

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