Fatima Eftekhari is pleading with Canadian officials to intervene as her husband, accused of a crime she says he didn’t commit, sits on death row in Iran.
Iran accused Saeed Malekpour of running a website with adult content, leading to a conviction and death sentence delivered by a judge Saturday.
Eftekhari fears her husband will be executed if the Canadian government doesn’t step in. It has been unwilling to get involved because her Iranian-born husband, who was living with her north of Toronto, isn’t a Canadian citizen, Eftekhari said.
Malekpour, a permanent Canadian resident since 2004, has been in jail for two years, telling his family he has endured torture and been locked in a tiny cell.
Speaking softly and appearing emotionally-drained, Eftekhari told Sandie Rinaldo on CTV News Channel Monday her husband is innocent.
“He doesn’t deserve to be detained in prison even for a single day,” Eftekhari said.
At issue is a software program Malekpour created. Iran claims the software was used by an adult porn site, resulting in Malekpour being charged with “taking action against national security by designing and moderating adult content websites,” “agitation against the regime” and “insulting the sanctity of Islam.”
Malekpour, a 35-year-old engineer and website developer, admitted to writing the program but said he wasn’t aware of how it was being used. His lawyer is appealing the death sentence.
Malekpour previously said he was tortured and forced to confess.
Eftekhari, 32, said Iranian officials have ignored her pleas for leniency.
“The thing is the corruption in the Iranian judiciary system doesn’t leave me with much hope so unless the Canadian government starts to ask Iranian officials about my husband’s case, honestly, I don’t have that much hope on the Iranian side,” Eftekhari said.
Progress stalled so she took the story to international media to begin a campaign to save Malekpour’s life.
The ordeal began when Malekpour was arrested in Iran in October 2008 while visiting his ailing father. Based on the allegations, a judge later convicted Malekpour of being “corrupt on Earth” and a “warrior against God.”
Eftekhari last saw her husband at the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran in December 2008. She said Malekpour was a shell of his former self, appearing malnourished and abused.
“He lost so much weight that I couldn’t recognize him,” Eftekhari said.
Their last phone conversation occurred four months ago. Since then, the prison has disconnected its phone line, Eftekhari says.
Officials haven’t set a date for the death sentence to be carried out.