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Archive for January, 2016

saeedgift

I’m still waiting for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respond to the joint letter that I sent him before the Christmas holidays. In the meantime, I have also written a letter to Canada’s Foreign Minister, Stephane Dion. Hoping the Trudeau government will issue a response soon.

To The Honourable Stéphane Dion,

My brother Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian resident, is imprisoned in Iran and his case requires your urgent attention. On behalf of the Malekpour family, I am requesting from the Canadian Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister to intervene on Saeed’s behalf to the government of Iran for the coordination of his immediate release.

We have been living a nightmare for the past seven years, since 2008 when IRGC agents kidnapped Saeed. To this day no evidence has ever been presented to prove the trumped up charges against him. He was held in prison for two years without charge then sentenced to death in a sham trial in 2010. The so called evidence the Judiciary used to convict him were hours of confessions my brother gave under extreme physical and psychological torture. In 2010 Saeed released a letter from prison stating on record that his confessions were false and detailed some of the tortures he has endured.

We are grateful for the help the Canadian government and human rights groups have given to Saeed in pushing for his release. Global attention on the case helped pressure Iranian authorities enough to quash Saeed’s death sentence in 2015. However, the five years he spent living with the fear of execution will likely stay with him, and so will the five years our family spent in a state of hell worrying for his life while trying to get the Iranian authorities to hear us out. Though we are no longer living in the shadow of death, we still need to get Saeed out of prison. We have taken every avenue possible to reach out to Iranian authorities, but to no avail.

There is no sign that they plan on releasing him any time soon. It is clear that to the Iranian authorities Saeed’s case was never about moderating “obscene” websites, my brother is a political hostage who will only be released with the right amount of diplomatic pressure. I ask you to ensure that human rights – especially the case of Saeed and other Canada-linked prisoners (like Mostafa Azizi) – is always placed at the forefront of any talks with the government of Iran. I have heard Canada is thinking of reopening diplomatic relations with the government of Iran, this would be the best time to call for Saeed’s release and safe return to Canada.

Saeed, a freelance web programmer, immigrated to Canada in 2004 and was awaiting Canadian citizenship when he returned to Iran in October 2008 to visit our fatally ill father. Shortly after his arrival, he was illegally nabbed by agents of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and brutally tortured. He was accused of moderating pornographic websites without any evidence presented to convict him. In an attempt to intimidate the family into silence, Iranian authorities issued multiple threats against us. It got so dangerous that I was forced to flee Iran. With the help of the Canadian government I was able to seek refuge in Canada. I am now safe in Canada and have started building a life while also advocating for my brother’s release.

It is very clear there is no legal justification for Saeed’s imprisonment. What he has gone through in Iran is a an insult to any Canadian’s sense of justice. Opening up relations with the government of Iran while Saeed remains in prison would place Canadian values at stake. Please do whatever you can to ensure Saeed’s release and safe return to Canada.

Sincerely,

Maryam Malekpour

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5DOWNLOAD THE PETITION

Dear friends and supporters in Canada,

I am requesting from ALL residents of Canada to help me collect signatures for an official petition calling on the government of Canada to intervene on Saeed’s behalf to the government of Iran for the coordination of his immediate release. Please click here to download the petition. I need you to print it out and collect a minimum of 25 signatures from Canadian residents. Once you have at least 25 signatures, you will need to deliver the petition to your local Member of Parliament. If you need help finding your local MP, click here.

Please help me bring Saeed back home to Canada. He is a political hostage who will only be released with the right amount of diplomatic pressure. I hope our collective effort will help highlight the petition in Canada’s House of Commons and allow me the chance to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Foreign Minister Stephane Dion in person to discuss the details of my brother’s case.

Sincerely,

Maryam Malekpour

TEXT OF THE PETITION

We, the undersigned, the residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House to the following:

THAT Saeed Malekpour, a Permanent Resident of Canada, is unlawfully imprisoned in the Islamic Republic of Iran since October 2008.

THAT Saeed Malekpour, a Permanent Resident of Canada, immigrated to Canada in 2004 and was awaiting Canadian citizenship when he returned to Iran in October 2008 to visit his fatally ill father and was arrested by Iranian authorities on trumped up charges of moderating pornographic websites.

THAT Saeed Malekpour was forced to give televised confessions after enduring repeated torture by the Revolutionary Guard interrogators.

THAT Saeed Malekpour was sentenced to death twice by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court based solely on the confessions he gave under torture.

THAT the forced confessions are the sole evidence that has ever been presented in Iranian courts against Saeed Malekpour to justify the charges against him.

THAT Saeed Malekpour was held in Evin Prison for the first two years without charge.

THAT Saeed Malekpour has never been given adequate access to a lawyer or the right to view his case file.

THAT Saeed Malekpour has been physically and psychologically tortured throughout his imprisonment and also denied a fair trial.

THAT Saeed Malekpour lived with the fear of imminent execution for five years before his death sentence was commuted to life in prison.

THAT Saeed Malekpour has spent the majority of his imprisonment in a solitary confinement ward in Evin Prison that does not fall under prison jurisdiction and is in full control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.Saeed Malekpour’s basic prisoner rights were completely violated in this ward.

THAT Iranian authorities continue to hold Saeed Malekpour in prison without any evidence against him other than forced confessions.

THAT Saeed Malekpour’s basic prisoner rights continue to be denied and violated.

THAT the imprisonment of Saeed Malekpour serves as an insult to any Canadian’s sense of justice.

THAT opening up relations with the government of Iran when no arrangements have been made for Saeed Malekpour’s release would place Canadian values at stake.

THAT human rights, namely the situation and wellbeing of Canada-linked prisoners like Saeed Malekpour and Mostafa Azizi, must be at the forefront of any talks between the government of Canada and the government of Iran.

THEREFORE, your petitioners call upon Parliament to urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister to intervene on Saeed Malekpour’s behalf and appeal to the government of Iran for his immediate release from prison.

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