Ruhollah (Nima) Zam was an Iranian activist and journalist, best known for operating a Telegram channel named ‘Amadnews’, which he founded in 2015. The Telegram channel’s mission is “spreading awareness and seeking justice”, and it has about 1.4 million followers. It provided the timing and organizational details of the protests as well as information about officials that challenged the Iranian government.
Ruhollah Zam was born into a clerical family in Tehran in 1978. His father, Mohammad-Ali Zam, is a reformist who served in senior government positions in the 1980s and 1990s.
Ruhollah Zam turned against the establishment after the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests and was imprisoned in Evin Prison for some time. Zam eventually fled Iran to reside in France.
One of Zam’s American connections was Amir Abbas Fakhravar. In 2009, Fakhravar along with Saghar Kasraei went to Israel to establish coordination between the insurgents and the Zionist leaders.
Ruhollah Zam is one of the co-founders of the National Iranian Congress (NIC) since 2013. With the support of the Americans, Fakhravar established the National Iranian Congress to unite the divided opposition and the scattered anti-revolutionary forces.
Fakhravar had suggested Zam move to the United States and activate the English version of the Amad News website. Zam had been invited by the US Congress twice to attend Iran’s Democratic Transition Conference on the subject of Constitutional Dialogue. The invitation had been signed by Trent Franks, a member of the US Congress. The participants in this conference were supposed to present a copy of their constitution for Iran’s future, and this way take part in the formation of Iran after the Islamic Republic. Since then, Amad News had a close collaboration with NIC.
In 2017, Amad News published the NIC announcements for protests against Iran’s Islamic regime in Iran. This resulted in and incited the 2017–2018 Iranian massive protests in more than 300 cities.
On 14 October 2019, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard kidnapped Zam back to Iran and arrested him. In June 2020, an Iran court found him guilty of “corruption on earth” for running a popular anti-government forum, which officials said had incited the 2017–2018 Iranian protests. He was sentenced to death by an Iranian court and was executed on 12 December 2020.