The Iranian regime has always devoted efforts to hunting down opponents at home and abroad, especially those who had previously worked with it and learned its secrets. Prominent journalist Ruhollah Zam was a chronic headache for the regime, as his talks were supported by documents and evidence, which made him one of the most wanted individuals by the mullahs.
The Iranian security services kidnapped Zam from France in October 2019 and an Iranian court sentenced him to death on Tuesday, June 30 for supporting the anti-government protests.
Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Ismaili said that the court issued its verdict on 13 charges, with a prison sentence for the rest of the charges, although he noted that this ruling is subject to appeal in the Supreme Court and is not final.
Zam said in an interview three years ago that he had received information from Iranian security and military sources that there was a joint plan by the Ministry of Intelligence, Quds Force, and the Revolutionary Guard intelligence service to kidnap him.
He had stated that they had even planned to assassinate him in a fabricated street dispute at some point, adding that the Ministry of Intelligence had a large file on him and that the person responsible for him had traveled to Germany several times under a fake name.
His prediction came true, as Zam was arrested in 2009 during the protests in Iran against the results of the presidential elections at that time. Following his release, he left the country and was able to leak documents revealing the depth of corruption of regime leaders and Revolutionary Guard generals.
Zam then ran the Amad News channel on Telegram from Paris, through which he supported the anti-government protests that started in 2017 and continued throughout the following year.
His first trial session began in June 2020, as he was accused of spying for the intelligence services of the United States, Israel and France at the same time. The authorities published a video clip of Zam confessing to the charges and declaring his remorse, but the regime was accused of taking false confessions under torture.
On the other hand, a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary confirmed a five-year prison sentence against French researcher Fariba Adelkhah calculated from the day of her arrest.
Adelkhah, an anthropologist at the Paris Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po), was arrested along with her husband on national security charges. After her espionage charge was dropped, her husband was released in a prisoner exchange with France, but she remained in detention.