Saeed Malekpour was sentenced to death in December 2010 following what appears to have been an unfair trial, without access to his lawyer, and amid allegations that he was tortured and forced to confess to crimes which he did not commit. He is detained in Evin Prison, has spent more than 12 months in solitary confinement and denied books, newspapers, and contact with the outside world. His sentence is currently under appeal.
Amnesty International has documented the frequent and extensive use of torture in Iranian prisons. We have also documented the widespread use of the death penalty in Iran and have highlighted concerns that prisoners are executed after legal proceedings that do not come close to meeting international fair trial standards. Executions can and do happen secretively and with very little advance warning. Under the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, if a state does still retain the use of the death penalty, it is to be reserved for only ‘the most serious crimes’, which is generally accepted at a minimum to mean crimes involving serious violence. This is not the case with the charges that have been brought against Mr. Malekpour.
While Mr. Malekpour is not a Canadian citizen, he is closely attached to Canada. He wife is also a permanent resident in Canada and this country has become their home. There is no other government to which he can turn to for assistance at this time.
Call on Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
- Welcome the efforts taken by the Canadian government to date to raise concerns about Iran’s human rights record
- Acknowledge the specific statements made by Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Deepak Obhrai in November and December.
- Stress the need to continue to raise both general concerns and intervene in this specific case with the highest levels of the government of Iran.
- Encourage him to employ other governments to assist in raising concerns about Mr. Saeed Makekpour’s case with Iranian authorities.
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Call on the Iranian authorites and request that they:
- Commute Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence immediately
- Review Saeed Malekpour’s conviction urgently as it appears his trial did not fully confirm to international fair trial standards;
- Immediately conduct an impartial investigation into Mr. Malekpour’s allegations of torture while he has been detained. Anyone found responsible for abuse should be brought to justice promptly and fairly.
- Ensure that any “confession” he may have made as a result of torture is not admitted as evidence against him, as this would violate Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Iran is a state party.
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur Street, Vali Asr Avenue, south of
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In the subject line, write FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)
Salutation: Your Excellency
The Canadian government has sponsored a resolution censuring Iran at the United Nations General Assembly human rights committee, every year since the 2003 torture and death while in custody, of Iranian-Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi in Iran. The resolution has expressed deep concern at serious ongoing human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The violations include torture, flogging, amputations, stoning, and “pervasive gender inequality and violence against women.” Canada has also “particular concern” with the Iranian government’s failure to launch a thorough investigation of alleged human rights violations in the wake of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s contested re-election in 2009.
The Government of Canada has also raised concerns regarding Saeed Malekpour on a number of occasions. On 17 November 2010, in the House of Commons, Parliamentary Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Deepak Obhrai expressed his indignation at the news of the unlawful detention of Saeed Malekpour, stating that Mr. Malekpour’s case is but one of the many cases in which someone in Iran is facing a death sentence after a highly questionable process and that Mr. Malekpour “has not had access to a lawyer.”
In a new year’s statement on January 1, 2011 the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed deep concern for the “deteriorating human rights situation in Iran.” He expressed particular concern for the uncertain fate of two Canadians of dual nationality who remain in prison in Iran. (Hamid Ghassemi- Shall and Hossein Derakhshan). He further referred to reports that Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian permanent resident, has been condemned to death and that his sentence could be carried out at any time. Minister Cannon encouraged the Iranian authorities to show mercy and compassion to those who are in Iran’s prisons without just cause, and called on Iran to respect its international human rights obligations in law and in practice and to foster a more open dialogue with the international community.