Iran’s Supreme Court upholds journalist’s death sentence

TEHRAN, IRAN (AP) – Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of a once-exiled journalist over his online work that helped inspire nationwide economic protests three years ago, Iranian media reported yesterday.

The semiofficial Tasnim news agency quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili as saying that the country’s Supreme Court confirmed Ruhollah Zam’s death sentence. It was not clear precisely when the court made its ruling. It is also not clear when Zam’s sentence will be carried out.

Under Iranian law, Zam has another chance to appeal and the judiciary chief has the power to cancel the ruling and order a retrial if he finds it in violation of Shariah law. In June, a court sentenced Zam to death, saying he had been convicted of “corruption on Earth,” a charge often used in cases involving espionage or attempts to overthrow Iran’s government.