Iran State Television Airs 'Confession' of Exiled Journalist
Iranian state television aired Monday footage showing Rouhollah Zam, editor-in-chief of the Paris-based Amadnews website, after he was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as part of a “complicated intelligence operation.”
A short video showed a man blindfolded and handcuffed to the back seat of a car, which the television claimed to be taken after Zam’s arrest, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).
After that, the same man appeared sitting in an armchair next to the flags of Iran and IRGC.
The man identified himself as Zam and “the founder of Amadnews”, a Telegram channel that the Iranian authorities accuse of having played a major role in the protests that broke out in December 2017.
Zam said he regrets “what has happened in the past three or four years,” and admitted he was wrong to have trusted other governments, namely the French government.
In another clip, Zam does not appear to be handcuffed and avoided looking directly at the camera, indicating that it is not right to trust governments, especially governments that show they do not have good relations with Iran, including the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. He then apologized to the whole Iranian political regime, reported AFP.
The Revolutionary Guard announced Monday the arrest of Zam describing him as a “counter-revolutionary” who was directed by France's intelligence service.
IRGC didn’t specify when or where Zam had been arrested. He had been reportedly living in exile in Paris.
Telegram shut down Amadnews which had around 1.4 million followers after Iranian authorities demanded the messaging application remove the account for inciting “violence.”
Amnesty International has repeatedly urged Iranian authorities to stop broadcasting “confessions” of suspects, saying they violate the “defendants' rights.”