Archive for December, 2010
This is the story of Saeed told by his wife.
Please click on the “cc” option at the bottom of the video screen for English subtitles
I have been friends with Saeed since we became inmates. The sentence issued for Saeed is absolutely ridiculous and his trial was just a farce. One may realize this fact by knowing his judge (Mohammad Moghaisseh). This judge is so ignorant of computer facts that his remark towards another detainee of ward 350, named Amir-Hossein Tavakoli had become a joke among other inmates. After hearing Tavakoli’s vindication, in order to catch him off guard, judge Moghaisseh told him “assuming everything you just said is true, how do you justify the fact that we found a weblog in your house?” This is the level of the computer literacy of Saeed’s judge. For this reason Saeed asked for the intervention of a computer expert at his trial to comment on his accusations. If this request had been granted and the revolutionary guard had not interfered, Saeed would have certainly been acquitted. Even if we assume that Saeed was the administrator of a porn website, he would not have made such a big gaffe by leaving his signature under his hypothetical website and then going back to Iran.
The fact is that, since the revolutionary guard received a fund equivalent to 50 million US dollars in order to chase down and arrest the administrators and operators of porn websites (hence, their so-called “Mozzelin” project), they had to introduce someone (a victim in this case) as the operator of one of the most renowned Farsi porn websites to redeem themselves. It is still not clear who the actual administrator is; who knows if it wasn’t a setup in the first place? The process through which these confessions were made is a traumatic story and Saeed had explained that very clearly (in his letter).
It is very painful for me to learn about Saeed’s sentence because I know him very well despite the false image that the Islamic Republic Media have portrayed of him (unfortunately I was under the same influence before I met him in jail). I hereby testify that Saeed Malekpour is one of the best, happiest, most energetic, compassionate and innocent people I have ever met in my life. I always remember Saeed’s face with a smile, ready to help the others around him. I cannot imagine such an innocent and sincere person, god forbid… [may have committed such a crime]
I wrote these few lines because I felt a big responsibility [for Saeed]. Had I not known Saeed personally I would have been among those brain washed by the revolutionary guard’s allegations and would have [agreed to] sentence a human to death (as if they want to play God). But today I woke up [to this news], and my heart breaks. How could those people be such tyrants?
But friends, don’t give up hope. There is a saying (in Farsi) that goes: “An innocent head could be taken to the gallows but would never end up hanging”.
Let’s hope for his release.
By Helena Zhu
Epoch Times Staff
An Iranian-born Canadian permanent resident has been sentenced to death in Tehran after a court found he had committed “Internet offences,” according to a group campaigning for the man’s release.
Saeed Malekpour, 35, a freelance web developer and programmer, was charged with “insulting the sanctity of Islam” and “taking action against national security by designing and moderating adult content websites.”
His supporters, however, say a program Malekpour designed, which had his name on it, was used by the adult website without his knowledge or approval.
“The only recognizable name in the program was Saeed’s,” said his wife, Dr. Fatemeh Eftekhari, who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
“He is accused of something he absolutely didn’t do and the evidence was kind of shaky to begin with. There are too many false accusations that they are not even technically possible,” Eftekhari wrote in an e-mail to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters in May, according to the website United For Iran.
His supporters say the Iranian judge who tried the case told Malekpour’s lawyer that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards rather than the judge himself made the decision to hand down the death penalty. The Revolutionary Guards is a branch Iran’s military founded after the 1979 revolution that overthrew Iran’s monarchy.
In March this year, Malekpour wrote an open letter to Iranian officials describing physical and psychological tortures that include lashings, beatings, and physical abuse, leading to broken teeth, paralysis, and infections.
“Most of the time, the tortures were performed by a group. 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,” he wrote in the letter which is posted on a website set up by his supporters.
He alleged that his mistreatment at the hands of the Revolutionary Guards Cyber Counterrattack was an effort to force him to make a false confession, which was later aired several times on television.
Malekpour’s supporters in Canada have sent a petition to the House of Commons calling on Ottawa to appeal to the Iranian government for his release.
“This appears to be another case in which someone in Iran is facing a death sentence after a highly questionable process,” Alain Cacchione, a spokesman for Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department, told CBC News.
On Dec. 10, Human Rights Day, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon issued a statement calling on Iran to “provide fair and due process for all its citizens, including Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Saeed Malekpour, as well as the many others in Iranian prisons for their religious, political, or social beliefs.”
(No. 391 – December 10, 2010 – 7:45 p.m. ET)
The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement marking Human Rights Day and the 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
“Today, Canada marks Human Rights Day and reaffirms Canada’s commitment to upholding the fundamental human rights of all human beings, at home and around the world.
“Canada has been a relentless advocate of human rights in all corners of the world. Time and again, Canada has expressed its deep concerns about the deplorable human rights situation in Iran. Canada continues to take the lead in bringing forward UN resolutions on Iran, which send a strong message to Iranian authorities that the international community will never abandon the Iranian people in their quest for human rights. We continue to call on Iran to provide fair and due process for all its citizens, including Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Saeed Malekpour, as well as the many others in Iranian prisons for their religious, political or social beliefs.
“Canada continues to raise the unacceptable human rights situation in North Korea. Its people suffer under oppressive conditions, including forced labour, extrajudicial executions, collective punishment, torture, and indefinite detention of political prisoners in prison camps.
“Canada supports the Government of Afghanistan and Afghan civil society organizations in their efforts to promote and protect human rights, especially those of women and children. Canada consistently raises human rights issues such as freedom of expression and women’s rights with the Government of Afghanistan.
“To use Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s words, ‘We have a solemn duty to defend the vulnerable, to challenge the aggressor, to protect and promote human rights, human dignity, at home and abroad’.”
For further information, media representatives may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
In this picture is Dr. Fatemeh ‘Zohre’ Eftekhari and her husband Saeed Malekpour, before Saeed travelled to Iran from Canada to visit his ailing father. While in Iran (2008), he was arrested and falsely accused of an Internet related charge. Since then he has been condemned to death. Yesterday, his lawyer was informed that the death sentence was confirmed! According to the presiding judge Moghiseh, he had no part in the decision. The ruling came directly from the Islamic [or Iranian] Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), “a branch of Iran’s military, founded after the 1979 Revolution.” CORRUPTION!!
WE KNOW THE REGIME IS UP TO SOMETHING BECAUSE THEY ARE AIRING HIS FALSE CONFESSIONS ON TELEVISION MORE OFTEN!!
ADDITIONALLY! In March 2010, Saeed Malekpour, who has endured much injustice and abuse since his incarceration, wrote a LETTER to Iran’s head of Judiciary (Larijani) detailing the tortures he endured while under interrogation. He also wrote a second letter to the head of Judiciary requesting a fair trial. As punishment for writing these two letters, the Revolutionary Guards made the decision to open up a new case for Saeed, under the charge of “propaganda against the Islamic Regime” and “conspiring with his spouse against national security”!!
How is this conspiring with his wife? Because after his wife sent the letters to the head of Judiciary (Sadeq Larijani), the Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei), and the Tehran Prosecutor (Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi) and she or Saeed did not receive any response, she took the letters to the international media in order to get her voice heard!!
Saeed is a permanent resident of Canada and needs the help of all of you to avoid further injustice! HE IS FACING DEATH, HE IS IMPRISONED…FOR WHAT? FOR NOTHING!! NOTHING BUT PURE INJUSTICE!
Let us unite for Saeed. Let us do whatever we can to make sure his story spreads. He needs our voices, because his voice has been silenced!
We need to push this full force right now. We need to get the Canadian government to publicly condemn the Iranian government more for its illegal and inhumane behaviour!
LET’S SAVE SAEED!!!
The case is too complicated to explain here (because the regime has made it complicated), but I will provide links so you can learn more about the case. SAEED IS BEYOND INNOCENT! HE IS A VICTIM OF A CORRUPT AND INHUMANE GOVERNMENT SYSTEM!!
Who will hear his cries from inside a prison cell?
SOURCES AND LINKS TO SHARE, SPREAD, AND SEND!
–> TAKE ACTION: Danger for Canadian Resident Saeed Malekpour in Iran (http://persian2english.com/?p=15785)
–> Imprisoned Tech Expert Saeed Malekpour Writes of Torture (http://persian2english.com/?p=8921)
–> Interview with the wife of imprisoned graphic designer Saeed Malekpour (http://persian2english.com/?p=10719)
TAKE ACTIONS WITH UNITED4IRAN!!!
The Case of Saeed Malekpour: Web Developer Jailed Since 2008 (Updated 11/1/10) http://united4iran.org/2010/10/the-case-of-saeed-malekpour-web-developer-jailed-since-2008/
TAKE ACTION WITH MISSION FREE IRAN!!
Letter to WIRED Magazine Asking for Coverage of the Story of Computer Programmer Saeed Malekpour
Fatima Eftekhari said she doesn’t know what to do now that her husband Saeed Malekpour has been formally sentenced to death in Iran.
Ms Eftekhari, a 32-year-old Richmond Hill resident, said the sentence against her husband of 10 years, who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2008, was issued last weekend, confirming a verbal sentence delivered in late October.
Running out of time in Richmond Hill. Fatima Eftekhari of Richmond Hill said she is running out of options in the case of her husband, Saeed Malekpour, who was sentenced to death in Iran on charges of Internet crimes and national security violations. STAFF PHOTO/STEVE SOMERVILLE
Mr. Malekpour, 35, was arrested for alleged Internet crimes and national security violations two years ago.
Ms Eftekhari and her husband are permanent Canadian residents, but do not have citizenship.
The couple arrived in Canada several years ago in search of a better life, she said.
“I feel so mad and so disappointed,” Ms Eftekhari told York Region Media Group. “I cannot deal with it.”
Her husband’s case may be heard by a higher court in Iran, Ms Eftekhari said, adding she doesn’t expect his sentence to be changed.
“It is hard for me to believe they are going to come to some sense and release Saeed,” she said.
It’s not clear when the sentence would be carried out.
While working as a computer programer, Mr. Malekpour designed a program allowing clients to upload photographs and data files and attached his name to the program, she said.
Unbeknownst to her husband, the program appears to have been used as part of an adult content website, she said.
When Mr. Malekpour travelled to Iran two years ago to visit his ill father, he was arrested and convicted of running the website based on a false, forced confession, she said.
“These are very big accusations without any evidence,” she said. “There is no evidence whatsoever about any of those accusations.”
Despite the fact Mr. Malekpour isn’t a Canadian citizen and Canadian officials wouldn’t have standing to intervene on his behalf, Mr. Malekpour’s case has attracted widespread attention.
Richmond Hill Liberal MP Bryon Wilfert, whose office has sent two letters — one to the Iranian embassy in Ottawa and another to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Mr. Malekpour’s behalf — said he has met with Iranian representatives.
“The only way you are going to advance any kind of agenda is to meet with people,” Mr. Wilfert said, adding he wants to see Mr. Malekpour back in Canada.
“I don’t care how they do it,” he said.
The federal government has been vocal about similar cases.
Ottawa expressed concern about a death sentence by stoning of Iran resident Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was convicted of adultery.
Ms Ashtiani’s sentence is now on hold and being reviewed at the Iranian Supreme Court, the BBC reported this week.
And, while the foreign affairs ministry did release a statement on Iran’s handling of Mr. Malekpour’s case by e-mail to reporters last month, nothing was posted to the ministry’s website as of press time.
When asked why, the Ministry said the difficultly is Mr. Malekpour is not a Canadian citizen, spokesperson Alain Cacchione said.
Mr. Malekpour’s case has been raised at Queen’s Park by Richmond Hill MPP Reza Moridi, who introduced a petition last month asking foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon to intervene on Mr. Malekpour’s behalf and appeal to the government of Iran.
Then, Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, addressed the case in the House of Commons Nov. 17, saying Mr. Malekpour’s sentence has come at the end of a “highly questionable” process.
In the meantime, Ms Eftekhari feels powerless as she tries not to think of her husband’s fate.
“I cannot even imagine myself in that situation,” she said. “I cannot think that thought.”