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Iran summons German, French ambassador over EU criticism of journalist execution

Published: Updated:

Iran on Sunday summoned the envoys of Germany, current holder of the European Union’s rotating presidency, and of France over criticism of the execution of an Iranian journalist, Iranian media reported.

The Foreign Ministry voiced Iran’s protest to the two ambassadors over French and EU criticism of the execution on Saturday of dissident journalist Ruhollah Zam, who had been based in Paris before he was captured in Iraq and taken to Iran.

Zam was convicted of fomenting violence during anti-government protests in 2017. His Amadnews feed had more than 1 million followers.

The EU said in a statement after his execution: “The European Union condemns this act in the strongest terms and recalls once again its irrevocable opposition to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances.”

The French Foreign Ministry called the execution a “barbaric and unacceptable act”, saying in a statement: “France condemns in the strongest possible terms this serious breach of free expression and press freedom in Iran.”

Amnesty International and press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the execution.

Iranian officials have accused the US, as well as Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia and government opponents living in exile, of stoking the unrest that began in late 2017 as regional protests over economic hardship spread nationwide.

Officials said 21 people were killed during the unrest and thousands were arrested. The unrest was among the worst Iran has seen in decades, and was followed by even deadlier protests last year against fuel price rises.

Read more:

French Foreign Ministry: Execution of Iranian journalist is a barbaric act

Executed Iranian journalist Zam falsely promised release, not given execution notice

Reporters Without Borders condemns Iran’s execution of journalist Ruhollah Zam