18:46 GMT23 January 2021
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    PARIS (Sputnik) - France strongly condemns the execution of Iranian dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam, considers it as a "barbaric" act, the French Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

    Earlier in the day, Zam, who founded and ran the anti-government Amad News website and Telegram channel, was executed in Iran over accusations of fueling mass anti-government protests in 2017 and receiving assistance from foreign intelligence agencies.

    "Ruhollah Zam, a journalist sentenced to death, has been executed in Iran today. France in the strongest possible terms condemns this serious violation of freedom of speech in Iran. This is a barbaric and unacceptable act, contradicting the international commitments of the country. France reiterates its constant rejection of the death penalty in any place and under any circumstances," the ministry said.

    In October 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps reported on the arrest of Zam, who was based in France and ran a news channel called Amad News in the messaging app, Telegram. Zam was sentenced to death in June 2020. According to reports, he was accused of working with French and Israeli intelligence agents against Iran and attempts to destabilize the situation in the country by fueling mass anti-government protests on social media in 2017.

    The nationwide rallies in Iran began in December 2017 and continued through January 2018 over what protesters called weak economic policies of the Iranian government and a spike in food prices. According to various media reports, hundreds were arrested during the unrest.

    Journalist, Iran, execution, France
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