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The Telegraph

British-Iranian academic handed nine year jail sentence for ‘subversive’ research

Iran has sentenced a British-Iranian anthropologist to nine years in prison after convicting him of carrying out «subversive» research work, according to the Iranian news agency Tasnim. Kameel Ahmady was also fined 600,000 euros (545,000), which was the sum Iranian authorities said he received for his research from institutions accused of seeking to overthrow the regime. «Ahmady was accused of acquiring illicit property from his cooperation in implementing subversive institutions’ projects in the country,» Tasnim reported. Mr Ahmady, who had researched controversial issues such as child marriage in Iran, was detained in August 2019 but released on bail three months later, according to human rights groups. It came as Tehran summoned the German ambassador on Sunday for «unacceptable interference in Iran’s internal affairs,» after the European Union condemned the regime’s execution of Ruhollah Zam, a prominent journalist. Mr Zam was executed on Saturday morning after he was convicted in June for “corruption on Earth”, a charge often used in cases involving espionage or attempts to overthrow Iran’s government. His website and Telegram channel, AmadNews, had over a million followers and was one of Iran’s most popular online news outlets both inside the Islamic republic and among its diaspora. His anti-corruption work, according to the Iranian authorities, fomented violence during the 2017 anti-government protests. AmadNews spread timings for the protests and leaked embarrassing information about officials that directly challenged Iran’s government. The EU, which no longer has a delegation in Iran, is represented by the rotating member state holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, which is currently Germany. In a statement after his execution on Saturday, the EU said: “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.” Mr Zam, 47, had been exiled under refugee status in Paris and was reportedly tricked into travelling to Iraq by Iranian authorities last year, where he was then abducted and forced to return to Iran under mysterious circumstances. The French envoy is also expected to be summoned according to the semi-official Fars news agency, for “the meddling of his country’s officials in Iran’s judicial affairs.” «This is a barbarous and unacceptable act,» the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement after the execution, which also condemned the hanging as a «grave blow» to freedom of speech in Iran.

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