Campaign for Release of Saeed Malekpour says on its website the Iranian judge who tried the case, told Malekpour’s lawyer the decision to hand down the death penalty was not his, but rather an edict from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
His supporters say Malekpour — an Iranian-born Canadian — worked as a freelance website developer and programmer, and designed a program to allow designers to upload photos to their websites.
But they say the program was later used, unbeknownst to Malekpour, for the creation of an adult website.
A Foreign Affairs spokesperson said Monday: “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 questionable process,” Alain Cacchione said in a prepared statement.
Malekpour, 35, arrived in Canada in 2004, after which he became a permanent resident.
In October 2008, he was detained in Iran after he returned to his country of birth to visit his ill father.
He has been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison ever since, charged with “taking action against national security by designing and moderating adult content websites,” “agitation against the regime,” “contact with foreign entities,” and “insulting the sanctity of Islam.”
In an open letter to prison officials written in March, Malekpour claims he was tortured and forced to make a false confession.
In the letter, Malekpour says he spent 320 days straight in solitary confinement.