Saeed Malekpour on the threshold of the execution

Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian web programmer with Canadian residency has been sentenced to death, on charges of “corrupting the earth”.

Since Malekpour was sentenced to death two years ago, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which made the charges against him, has publicized the web programmer’s case as an example to Iranians who use the Internet violate its stringent moral code, but he and his family have denied the charges.

Malekpour is a metallurgical-engineering graduate of Tehran’s Sharif Industrial University who started to work as a web designer in Canada in 2005. He was arrested during a visit to his dying father in October 2008 and and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, it is claimed that he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without charge.

A year after his arrest, Malekpour appeared in a state television program confessing to a series of crimes in relation to a porn website. Based on his TV confessions, he was convicted of “designing and promoting adult content websites,” “agitation against the regime,” “insulting the sanctity of Islam,” and “contact with foreigners and opposition groups” by a court in Tehran, which committed him to death penalty. Afterwards, he claimed that most part of his confession was extracted under pressure and torture.

After an international campaign and new expert evidence, the supreme court suspended Malekpour’s death sentence in June 2011 and ordered a judicial review but Iran’s Supreme Court confirmed the sentence on January 17, 2012.

The Canadian government and Amnesty International have called for Malekpour’s immediate release.


Source: The Guardian