Iranian officials have sentenced a man to death for allegedly running a porn site in Canada.
According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, Saeed Malekpour was sentenced after being convicted as corrupt on Earth and a warrior against God.
Malekpour is an Iranian-born Canadian resident and returned to Iran to visit his sick father in October of 2008, that's when he was put in Tehran's Evin Prison and where he was given the news of the verdict.
His wife said her husband's lawyer is appealing the case to Iran's highest court.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government is blasting Iran over the death sentence. Melissa Lantsman, spokeswoman for Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, said:
Canada remains deeply concerned by the continued flagrant disregard of the Iranian authorities for the rights of Iranians. This appears to be another case in which someone in Iran is facing a death sentence after a highly
We continue to call on Iran to respect its domestic and international obligations and ensure fairness and due process for all its citizens and others.
A 35-year-old Iranian web programmer is facing imminent execution in connection with developing and promoting porn websites, charges that his family insist are trumped up.
Saeed Malekpour, a permanent resident of Canada who was arrested in October 2008 after his arrival in Tehran, is convicted of designing and moderating adult content websites, acting against the national security, insulting and desecrating the principles
of Islam, and agitating the public mind.
Speaking from Toronto, Malekpour's wife, Fatemeh Eftekhari, said her husband has been informed of the verdict and has been transferred to solitary confinement for the sentence to be administered if the supreme court sanctions it. She says her husband was
a web programmer who had written photo uploading software that was used in a porn website without his knowledge.
Malekpour, who has been kept in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for the past two years, was arrested by plainclothes officers and was initially kept in solitary confinement for almost a year without access to legal representation.
A year after his arrest Malekpour was put on state television to confess. He later retracted the confessions in a letter sent from inside prison in which he said they were taken under duress.
A large portion of my confession was extracted under pressure, physical and psychological torture, threats to myself and my family, and false promises of immediate release upon giving a false confession to whatever the interrogators dictated, he
writes in the letter.
Once in October 2008 the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water. He went on to say: While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables, batons, and
their fists struck and punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck. Such mistreatment was aimed at forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating, and to compel me to play a role in front of the camera based on their scenarios.
Malekpour's sentence has prompted reactions from human rights activists and organisations who have launched a campaign to save his life. Lawrence Cannon, the Canadian foreign affairs minister, has also expressed concerns over his sentence.
Iran's supreme court has quashed the death sentence for Saeed Malekpour, a web programmer who was facing execution on charges of
developing and promoting porn websites.
The 35-year-old was convicted of designing and moderating adult materials online although his family said he was a web programmer whose photo uploading software was used by a porn website without his knowledge.
Defence lawyers said the conviction was quashed after they provided the court with expert evidence. Malekpour, a Canadian resident who was arrested in October 2008 on arrival in Tehran, will remain in jail while a judicial review into his case is
Speaking from Toronto, his wife, Fatima Eftekhari, said that the campaign by human rights groups in support of her husband was crucial in saving Malekpour's life: Never underestimate the power of such campaigns when you can save the life of an
innocent somewhere miles away from you by clicking a button or signing a letter .
Ahmad Reza Hashempour was arrested in 2007. A lower court had sentenced him to death, and the Supreme Court this week upheld
Hashempour's death sentence on charges of membership in anti-religion and blasphemous websites.
During his four-year detention, Ahmad Reza Hashemour spent a long time in solitary where he was physically and psychologically tortured to make television confessions against himself.
This is the latest injustice in the Mozelleen 3 case. Many of the suspects in this case were forced to make television confessions against themselves and to accept the charges leveled against them. Several individuals implicated in this
case released open letters several months after their arrests, speaking up about unbearable torture during their detention period. Another suspect in this case, Vahid Asghari, was also sentenced to death this week, after four years in prison.
Update: Death sentence confirmed for Canadian website programmer
Website programmer Saeed Malekpour's death sentence for developing and promoting porn sites has been upheld by Iran's supreme court. The Iranian-born Canadian resident now faces imminent execution despite a reprieve last June when the sentence was
suspended and set for judicial review after his defense lawyers introduced expert evidence amidst an international outcry for justice.
He appeared on state television confessing to a series of crimes detailing his involvement with porn sites that led to his conviction. But in a letter from his prison cell, the programmer ultimately retracted his confessions and claimed he made
the statements under duress that included physical and psychological torture and threats against his family.
Once, in October 2008, the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water. While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables, batons, and their fists struck and
punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck.
Such mistreatment was aimed at forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating, and to compel me to play a role in front of the camera based on their scenarios.
Saeed's lawyers were told that his death sentence will be issued this week.
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian programmer residing in Canada, was sentenced to death in Iran for designing porn websites. This death sentence has now been
commuted to life imprisonment, with the explanation that Malekpour had repented.
As AVN reported in January of last year, Malekpour was detained by Iranian authorities in 2008 after traveling back home to visit his father, who was ill. He was charged with helping design porn sites in Canada, and despite appeals from the
Canadian government, his family and others that he was innocent of the charges, he was convicted and sentenced to death in December 2010.
Iran had accused Malekpour of being the head of the biggest Persian-language network of pornographic websites. But credible supporters said he had simply worked as a freelance website developer and programmer, creating a program to allow designers
to upload photos to their websites.
Last week, Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced that all news websites that do not obtain government-issued licenses will be blocked nationwide.
Hassan Mehrabi, the Ministry's director of local press regulations declared that all news websites in the future must obtain licenses from the Ministry's press supervisory board. Further details about the new policy appeared in a report covered by the
Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA).
Prior to the new regulation, most websites registered within Iran would abide by self-censorship in order to avoid being filtered. Targets of filtering have often been reformist websites, such as those associated with the Green Movement and its leaders.
This news comes three months after moderate President Hassan Rouhani's conference on information and communications technologies, where he announced:
The right of citizens to have access to international networks of information is something we formally recognize. Why are we so nervous? Why don't we trust our youth?
A blogger has fallen victim to extreme censorship in Iran and has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of insulting the religious character Mohammad on Facebook.
According to an informed source , speaking to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Soheil Arabi, had kept eight Facebook pages under different names and admitted to posting material supposedly insulting to a religious character.
Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states insulting Mohammed carries a punishment of death, however, article 264 of the Penal Code says if a suspect claims to have said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death
sentence will be converted to 74 lashes.
The anonymous source claims:
Unfortunately, despite this Article and the explanations provided, the judges issued the death sentence. They didn't even take any notice of Soheil's statements in court in which he repeated several times that he wrote the posts under poor
[psychological] conditions, and that he is remorseful.
Arabi will be able to appeal against the decision until 20 September.