Saeed Malekpour was Iranian born but came to Canada in 2004 . He foolishly returned to Iran to visit his ill father in 2008 and was arrested for: “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.” Since then he has been in Tehran’s Evin Prison including in solitary confinement for 320 straight days and has now been sentenced to death. Malekpour says he was tortured and forced to make a false confession and the judge says that the death sentence was ordered by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and it was not his idea. Looks like the trial was a farce.
Taking his alleged crimes one by one:
- “taking action against national security by designing and moderating adult content websites” – he actually did not have anything to do with the web site in question – he just designed a method of uploading photos which was then used by the web site. Even so, if a death sentence was put in place for such a crime, millions of people would be on death row in the U.S. and other places.
- “agitation against the regime” – Iran is saying that free speech is punished by the death penalty.
- “contact with foreign entities” – I guess contact with tourists requires the death penalty – if the Iranian Guard doesn’t like you.
- “insulting the sanctity of Islam” – we knew this, they are just following the teachings of the Qur’an – kill anyone who looks like they might have insulted Mohammed – just like many other Muslim countries and terrorists.
In Ottawa, a spokesman for the Foreign Affairs department said Canada is “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,” spokesman Alain Cacchione said in an e-mail in response to a query.
“Canada, in concert with the international community, is striving to hold Iran accountable for such human rights violations.” “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.”
Malekpour wrote an open letter to Iranian officials in March this year alleging forced confessions, torture which includes lashings, and physical abuse resulting in broken teeth and bodily infections. “Most of the time, the tortures were performed by a group,” he wrote. “While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables, batons, and their fists struck and punched me.”Malekpour said his mistreatment was aimed at forcing him to admit to a false confession before a camera, based on scenarios his interrogators were dictating.
Those campaigning for his release say he was often held in solitary confinement without any outside contact or access to a lawyer.
The group has also sent a petition to the House of Commons calling for Ottawa to appeal to the Iranian government and demand Malekpour’s release.
The web site, United for Iran, is campaigning for his release. Malekpour is not the only person suffering injustice at the hands of the Iranians.
It has been separately reported that Canada is considering declaring the Iranian Guard a terror group. Yesterday would not be soon enough.
Also Canadian Press and Yahoo news