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Court sentences Iranian dissident blogger to death

The prominent Iranian dissident and blogger Ruhollah Zam was sentenced to death on Tuesday by a revolutionary court in Tehran.

Court spokesperson Gholam-Hussein Ismaili said Zam can still appeal to the country’s highest court .

Revolutionary courts in Iran preside over espionage cases and threats to national security.

Zam stands accused of using his website, Amad News, to spread propaganda against Iran’s leadership and to provoke protests against the regime, some of which turned violent.

In particular, he was said to have strongly condemned alleged irregularities in the 2009 presidential election which saw the re-election of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The blogger then emigrated to France via Malaysia. Zam had also conducted several interviews with Farsi-language broadcasters abroad, in which he expressed sharp criticism of the Iranian leadership.

According to media reports, the blogger was allegedly lured to neighbouring Iraq by Iranian security forces, where he was reportedly arrested last autumn and taken to Iran to stand trial.

Since then, Zam has pleaded guilty in several court hearings and asked for forgiveness.

Political commentators therefore expect the death sentence to be overturned during his appeal.

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