Iran executes journalist Ruhollah Zam over his online work

Iran executes journalist Ruhollah Zam over his online work

His work helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017 – the biggest challenge to Iran's rulers since the 2009 Green Movement protests. HomepageHomepage Showcase Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson and Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack are working to build a new MCSO District 2 substation. Great deals on 4K, curved and smart TVs from top brands such as LG, Samsung, Vizio and Sony. The deals include attractive discounts and free shipping.

Iran on Saturday executed a once-exiled journalist over his online work that helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017, authorities said, just months after he returned to Tehran under mysterious circumstances. Iranian state television and the state-run IRNA news agency said that Ruhollah Zam, 47, was hanged early Saturday morning.

A court sentenced Zam to death in June, saying he had been convicted of “corruption on Earth,” a charge often used in cases involving espionage or attempts to overthrow Iran’s government.

Zam’s website AmadNews and a channel he created on the popular messaging app Telegram had spread the timings of the protests and embarrassing information about officials that directly challenged Iran’s Shiite theocracy.

Those demonstrations, which began at the end of 2017, represented the biggest challenge to Iran’s rulers since the 2009 Green Movement protests and set the stage for similar mass unrest in November of last year. 

The initial spark for the 2017 protests was a sudden jump in food prices. Many believe that hard-line opponents of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani instigated the first demonstrations in the conservative city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran, trying to direct public anger at the president. But as protests spread from town to town, the backlash turned against the entire ruling class.

Soon, cries directly challenging Rouhani and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could be heard in online videos shared by Zam. Zam’s channel also shared times and organizational details for the protests.

Telegram shut down the channel over Iranian government complaints it spread information about how to make gasoline bombs. The channel later continued under a different name. Zam, who has said he fled Iran after being falsely accused of working with foreign intelligence services, denied inciting violence on Telegram at the time.

The 2017 protests reportedly saw some 5,000 people detained and 25 killed.

The details of his arrest still remain unclear. Though he was based in Paris, Zam somehow returned to Iran and found himself detained by intelligence officials. He’s one of several opposition figures in exile who have been returned to Iran over the last year.

France previously has criticized his death sentence as “a serious blow to freedom of expression and press freedom in Iran.”

Reporters Without Borders, a group that campaigns for press freedoms, said Zam’s hanging was a “new crime of Iranian justice.”

A series of a televised confessions aired earlier this year over his work.

During an interview on July, Zam said he has lost some 30 kilograms (66 pounds) since his arrest in October 2019. He said following the arrest that he could meet his father after nine years and his mother and sister after some six years.

Zam is the son of Shiite cleric Mohammad Ali Zam, a reformist who once served in a government policy position in the early 1980s. The cleric wrote a letter published by Iranian media in July 2017 in which he said he wouldn’t support his son over AmadNews’ reporting and messages on its Telegram channel.

Zam’s father on Saturday posted on his Instagram account that Iranian authorities had not notified his son that he had been sentenced to execution.


Today's Forecast: Rain continues, snow north of M-46

Today’s Forecast: Rain continues, snow north of M-46

WEST MICHIGAN — The forecast from FOX 17 Meteorologist Erik Kostrzewa: The rain turned heavy overnight and will remain persistent until the evening. It also changed over to snow in the northernmost communities. If you live in Mecosta, Newaygo, and Oceana counties, 4″ to 8″ inches of snow is expected here. If you are south of this line, it will be mainly rain for you. Some light snow accumulations up to 1″ is possible towards I-96 in the evening, but this chance is low. Temperatures will actually vary quite a bit today with this storm moving directly overhead. Temperatures near I-94 will make it into the lower 50s. Those north towards I-96 will stay in the upper 30s to lower 40s. North of I-96 will remain in the lower to middle 30s. This is what will support accumulating snow. Enough cold air will wrap in behind this system to change the rain over to snow Saturday evening, which could bring a dusting of snow to those the saw rain all day.

TODAY: Cloudy with periods of rain. Snow well north of M-46. Those in Oceana, Mecosta and Newaygo county will see several inches of snow. Breezy with temperatures around 40° for those near I-96 and temperatures in the lower 50s around I-94.

TONIGHT: Scattered rain showers changing to scattered snow showers. Additional accumulations will be minor, to nonexistent south of I-96. Breezy and colder with lows in the upper 20s to around 30°. West to northwest winds at 15 to 20 mph.

SUNDAY: Light snow showers exiting through the early morning hours leaving cloudy skies behind. Highs in the lower 30s.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy to partly sunny. Chance of some light snow. Highs remain chilly in the middle 30s.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 30s.

Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Author: By:
Erik Kostrzewa

Sheriff Henderson, Commissioner Noack work together to bring MCSO substation to Rayford Road area

Sheriff Henderson, Commissioner Noack work together to bring MCSO substation to Rayford Road area

THE WOODLANDS, TX – Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson and Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack are working to build a new MCSO District 2 substation along the Rayford Road corridor.

“During a time when local governments are trying to defund law enforcement, I understand the importance of increasing law enforcement presence and visibility,” Commissioner Noack said. “The Rayford Road corridor is one of the fastest growing areas in Montgomery County, and we want to ensure that the residents of this area feel safe and know that we intend to maintain law and order in Montgomery County.”

The new station, designed by professional architecture firm PGAL, will be located at 655 Rayford Road, formerly the location of the Dollar General and Car Wash. Commissioners Court awarded the contract to build the new Sheriff’s Office Station to Conroe-based LDF Construction Inc.

Sheriff Rand Henderson states “I am grateful for the leadership of Commissioner Noack and the entire Commissioner’s Court for the new Sheriff’s Office substation in South Montgomery County. As our county continues to grow so do the needs of our community. This new substation is strategically located to serve the growing population and is in line with our campus master plan. The new substation will house patrol, detectives as well as a maintenance facility to handle vehicle repairs. The centralized location of this substation will also allow the public an easier way to locate and come to the facility to address their public safety issues. Additionally, by placing the substation in this location it will save valuable resources by reducing travel, man-hours and response times.”

For more information from Commissioner James Noack’s Office call 281-367-3977

For more information from Sheriff Rand Henderson Office call 936-538-3456


Author: By: Cody Grimes

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Iran executes journalist Ruhollah Zam over his online work

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