Maryam Malekpour (Saeed’s sister), Wednesday July 18, 2012: “Yesterday we visited Saeed in prison. We are permitted to visit him once every two weeks. Thank God he is feeling OK and the location of his imprisonment has improved. However, Saeed is still held in the IRGC-controlled security ward and he is not granted any access to the outside world. The positive side is that he is no longer held alone in solitary confinement! I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be happy that his situation has improved or be upset that the threat of execution still exists and his life is in danger. It has been nearly four years that we are waking up to and sleeping with the nightmare of his possible execution.”
Archive for the ‘Saeed Malekpour’ Category
Happy birthday to this patient man who has already endured more than three years of unlawful imprisonment. For more than three years Saeed Malekpour has lived in the shadow of death.
This will be Saeed’s fourth consecutive birthday locked up behind bars.
Thank you for supporting Saeed Malekpour
We hope you continue to support Saeed until he is freed, safe from execution.
If you wish to send Saeed a public message, make him a birthday card or video, please post your material and text on the Free Saeed Malekpour Facebook page and we will share.
If you wish to send Saeed a private birthday message, you can contact his sister Maryam directly via her Facebook profile.
به امید آزادی سعید
– The Saeed Malekpour Campaign team
We are truly grateful to everyone who participated in today’s amazing Tweet Storm. Thank you to @roya_sabz for organizing it. Thank you for also remembering the others on death row.
– The Free Saeed Malekpour Campaign
Free Saeed Malekpour! #SOS4Saeed
Radio Zamaneh, 9 March 2012 | Saeed Malekpour’s sister says his family has not heard from him in 50 days and they fear that he may be executed at any time.
The International Campaign for Human Rights reported yesterday that Maryam Malekpour, the sister of the Iranian detainee currently on death row, said: “We have not been allowed to visit him in the past 50 days and we are completely in the dark. Our letters and requests for visitations have also been left unanswered.”
Maryam Malekpour goes on to say: “Saeed’s execution may be carried out any moment. I beseech the judicial authorities of my country to stop this sentence. We have written many letters that have remained unanswered but we are still hopeful that the authorities will halt the execution.”
Malekpour, a 36-year-old software designer and an engineering graduate from Iran’s top university, Sanaati Sharif, has been under arrest for more than three years. He is charged with “propaganda against the regime by designing obscene websites, insulting sanctities, insulting the president, links to anti-government groups and corruption on earth.” In a nationally televised report, he was shown admitting to these charges. He has since declared that those confessions were coerced and that he made them under duress.
He has written to the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Larijani, indicating that he made the confessions “under fierce pressure, torture, threats and false promises of release on bail and amelioration of my situation.”
In his letter he lists “flogging, the threat of sexual abuse, interrogations leading to broken teeth, dislocation of haws and temporary paralysis in parts of my body” as examples of the torture he’s been subjected to.
Last month, several of his cellmates released a statement calling for a re-examination of his case, declaring that he has repeatedly reassured them that his confessions were made under torture, adding that his body still carries the marks of his ordeal.
DOCUMENT – IRAN: WEB PROGRAMMER AT RISK OF EXECUTION IN IRAN: SAEED MALEKPOUR
Index: UA 55/12 MDE 13/008/2012 Iran Date: 17 February 2012
Web programmer AT RISK OF EXECUTION IN IRAN
W eb programmer Saeed Malekpour could be executed at any time in Iran . His death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court on 17 January 2012 and a court official has indicated that his death sentence may have now been sent for implementation .
Saeed Malekpour, a resident of Canada and Iranian national, aged 36, was again sentenced to death on 19 October 2011 by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, and it was confirmed by Branch 32 of the Supreme Court on 17 January 2012. On 14 February 2012, one of Saeed Malekpour’s lawyers visited both courts to ask about his case, but learned that the file was being held at neither court. Comments from a court official suggested that this is because Saeed Malekpour’s file has been sent to the Office of Implementation of Sentences.
Saeed Malekpour was sentenced to death for “insulting and desecrating Islam” after a programme he had developed for uploading photos online had been used to post pornographic images without his knowledge. Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to death in October 2010 following a trial that reportedly only lasted 15 minutes. After a June 2011 announcement that the Supreme Court had returned the case for further review, Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court imposed again the death sentence as well as prison sentence of seven and a-half years. Amnesty International understands that although he has legal representation now, for much of his detention Saeed Malekpour has had no access to legal counsel.
Saeed Malekpour had been living in Canada since 2005, but was arrested in October 2008 while visiting his family in Iran. He was allegedly tortured while held for over a year in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin prison. In 2009, Iranian state television repeatedly aired a “confession” by Saeed. In an open letter dated March 2010, Saeed Malekpour stated his “confession” was extracted after prolonged torture following orders by Revolutionary Guard interrogators.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, English or your own language :
Calling on the Iranian authorities to not execute Saeed Malekpour;
Expressing concern that Saeed Malekpour did not have a fair trial, and to disregard as evidence in court “confessions” which may have been coerced;
Reminding the Iranian authorities that under international law, the death penalty can only be carried out for “the most serious crimes”, which must be “intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences”.
P LEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 30 MARCH 2012 TO :
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: “Call on #Iran leader @khamenei_ir to halt the execution of Saeed Malekpour Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
[care of] Public relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street
Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In subject line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights
Mohammad Javad Larijani
High Council for Human Rights
[Care of] Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
(subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Web programmer AT RISK OF EXECUTION IN IRAN
Saeed Malekpour has been in detention since his arrest on 4 October 2008. In a March 2010 letter he wrote about his arrest: “a few agents physically beat me severely and verbally abused me, while I remained handcuffed and blindfolded. They forced me to sign a few forms, but I was not able to read the contents”. Saeed Malekpour was held in solitary confinement from his arrest until 16 August 2009 and during this time was denied contact with his family or legal counsel. Saeed Malekpour was again transferred to solitary confinement on 21 December 2009 and remained there until 8 February 2010. After being reportedly beaten by guards and kicked in the face in January 2009 , Saeed Malekpour’s jaw became dislocated. It is not known whether he received adequate medical care. In addition to this, Saeed Malekpour has had limited access to legal counsel throughout his detention and Amnesty International understands that his lawyer has been unable to file for a judicial review of the case.
Saeed Malekpour’s arrest in October 2008 was in relation to alleged cyber crime. Two other individuals were arrested around the same time: blogger Vahid Asghari, who had been studying information and computer technology in India prior to his arrest in 2008, and website administrator Ahmad Reza Hashempour. Both are also on death row after apparently unfair trials, awaiting execution in relation to their online activities.
In 2009, a group reportedly affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, alleged that some individuals, including Saeed Malekpour, were part of “a network of decadence on the internet.” The 2009 Law on Cyber Crimes in Iran extended the death penalty to such crimes. A relatively new and shadowy “cyber army”, reportedly linked to the Revolutionary Guards, has also carried out attacks on websites at home and abroad, including the Twitter site and Voice of America.
Prior to his arrest, Saeed Malekpour had been living in Canada since 2005 and holds Canadian permanent residency. There has been ongoing campaigning in Canada for Saeed Malekpour’s release.
This year the Iranian authorities have acknowledged the execution of 41 people, including nine public executions. Amnesty International has received credible reports of 25 other executions which were not officially acknowledged, mostly of alleged drugs offenders.
Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a state party, states the death penalty may be “imposed only for the most serious crimes”. In November 2011, the UN Human Rights Committee, which oversees implementation of the ICCPR, expressed concern about the number of death sentences imposed and carried out in Iran in its Concluding Observations. The Committee stated that the Iranian authorities “should consider abolishing the death penalty or at least revise the Penal Code to restrict the imposition of the death penalty to only the ‘most serious crimes’”.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violation of the right to life and is calling for all death sentences in Iran to be commuted.
Name: Saeed Malekpour
Gender m/f: m
UA 55/12 Index: MDE 13/008/2012 Issue Date: 17 February 2012
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Global Protests Mount to Halt Web Developer’s Imminent Execution in Iran …“International community only hope to prevent execution.”
26 February 2012 | 1:00pm | outside Iranian embassy
(the original date was 24 February but changed due to snow storm)
245 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, Ontario
25 February 2012, | 1:00pm | in front of Islamic Republic offices
2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington D.C.
February 23, 2012, Toronto | The threat of death for Saeed Malekpour, a 36-year old web developer, is imminent. Last Thursday the Canadian resident’s lawyer confirmed that the sentence was transferred to the implementations office. “…this means they are capable of executing [Saeed Malekpour] any moment they wish,” the lawyer said.
Maryam Nayeb Yazdi, coordinator for the Free Saeed Campaign, announced recently: “We’re escalating our efforts to raise support for Saeed Malekpour’s case by organizing various rallies across North America.”
Human rights activists and concerned citizens will hold two separate street protests against the death penalty, one outside the Iranian embassy in Ottawa on Friday and the other in front of the Islamic Republic offices in Washington D.C. on Saturday. The cases of other prisoners including Vahid Asghari, Mehdi Alizadeh, and Ahmad Reza Hashempour, who are also at imminent risk of execution for Internet-related charges, will be highlighted at the events. Additionally, Kurdish Iranian citizens Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi, and Shirko Ma’arefi, who are in danger of imminent execution as well, will be the other prisoners highlighted at the events.
The Moradi’s are on death row for the unproven charges of spying for Britain and playing a role in the 2010 assassinations of a few people, including the son of a Friday Prayer Imam. Like Malekpour, the confessions the Moradi’s gave to interrogators were extracted under torture. Shirko Ma’arefi is one of nearly two dozen Kurdish activists on death row in Iran. His mother told a human rights organization in 2010, “We see no difference between our son and others. They are all innocent and have mothers who are awaiting their return. I am calling on all human rights organizations to not remain silent…”
On Friday and Saturday there will be events organized by Amnesty International Canada to collect signatures on behalf of Saeed Malekpour to further pressure the Iranian authorities.
Last Thursday the Canadian government took their strongest action yet for Saeed Malekpour. Members of Parliament in Canada’s House of Commons reached unanimous consent on a motion to “hold Iran accountable for Mr. Malekpour’s treatment.” The same day Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird released his second statement for Malekpour. Baird called on the Iranian authorities to “reverse its current course, and live up to its international human rights obligations.”
On Tuesday the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, renewed calls for Iranian authorities to halt Malekpour’s execution. This is the second statement the European Union has released in the past two weeks regarding Saeed. “I repeat my call on Iran to review their sentences and I particularly call of Iran to halt the execution of Saeed Malekpour,” Ashton said. The British Foreign and Commonwealth office, the U.S. State Department, and Foreign Affairs Italy and Norway have also released statements calling for a halt to Malekpour’s imminent execution.
GLOBAL NATIONAL, February 24: Supporters Fight to Save Canadian on Death Row in Iran
CTV’s Canada AM, February 20: Iran’s ‘charades against humanity’
CTV News, February 19: Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour on death row in Iran
FOR MORE INFORMATION |
Maryam Nayeb Yazdi
Human rights activist
National Post, David Frum | The Iranian regime’s war against its own people threatens to claim another casualty: Canadian landed immigrant Saeed Malekpour, sentenced to death for the crime of designing a website.
The Iranian regime is moving to carry out the sentence imminently, adding one more killing to the hundreds of judicial murders since the stolen presidential elections of 2009.
Even by the regime’s own brutal standards, the Malekpour case is a travesty. Malekpour designed websites that allow the uploading of photographs. Allegedly, some people used those sites to upload sexual images. The regime accused Malekpour of distributing pornography and thereby “insulting the sanctity of Islam.”
Malekpour was held for a year in solitary confinement, tortured and ultimately sentenced to death.
From the point of view of civilized nations, Malekpour did nothing criminally wrong, even if every item in the indictment against him were true. But of course if the charges against Malekpour were true, he would not be in trouble even in Iran.
Sex as such does not offend the Iranian authorities. Iran’s religious authorities have developed a doctrine of “temporary marriage” — lasting 2 hours or so — that effectively legalizes prostitution. Brothels are found in Iran’s major cities, sometimes operated by the clerics themselves.
The website Planet Iran has posted this translation of a document issued at a religious shrine on July 18, 2010:
“In order to elevate the spiritual atmosphere, create proper psychological conditions and tranquility of mind, the Province of the Quds’eh-Razavi of Khorassan has created centres for temporary marriage (just next door to the shrine) for those brothers who are on pilgrimage to the shrine of our eighth Imam, Imam Reza, and who are far away from their spouses.
“To that end, we call on all our sisters who are virgins, who are between the ages of 12 and 35 to co-operate with us. Each of our sisters who signs up will be bound by a two year contract with the province of the Quds’eh-Razavi of Khorassan….
“Attention: For sisters who are below 14 years of age, a written consent from their fathers or male guardian is required.”
While outright prostitution is condoned, what offends the Iranian authorities is the use of photography to expose the miserable living conditions of those women held to prostitution.
The website Payvand.com hosts a collection of photographs by the great Iranian photographer, Kaveh Golestan. (Golestan took the only known photograph of the Ayatollah Khomeini smiling; the photographer was killed by a landmine in Iraq in 2003.) These photographs from inside Tehran’s brothel district show women living in wretched poverty on filthy alleyways. The brothels are legal. Only the photographs are banned — and not only banned, but blocked by the regime’s Internet-blocking technology.
If Malekpour developed web technology that expedited the sharing of such images inside Iran, you can well imagine why the regime regarded him as a threat.
Under the pressure of external economic sanctions and the regime’s own corruption and mismanagement, the Iranian economy is disintegrating. The currency is collapsing toward worthlessness, inflation is accelerating and unemployment is rising.
Against this background of discontent, the regime has scheduled parliamentary elections for March. The elections are not free in any sense. Payvand reports:
“While the 2009 presidential race was between the incumbent hardline president and reform candidates, the forthcoming Majlis elections are expected to be between the supporters of Ahmadinejad and those of ayatollah Khameneni, as key reformers have announced that they are not participating in the elections because reform leaders such as Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi are under house arrest while others are serving long-term prison terms on charges of sedition or plotting against the regime. Reform groups have also been outlawed by the regime.”
Hardliners vs. ultra-hardliners — and with everybody else banned. Yet even such a limited opportunity for the expression of public opinion clearly frightens the fragile Iranian regime.
In its fear, the regime reaches out to kill, ordering terror attacks against the Saudi ambassador to the United States and — most recently — against Israeli diplomats in India, Thailand and Georgia.
Yet these plots have mostly gone awry, suggesting a serious weakening of Iran’s international terror capacities.
At home, though, the frightened and unpopular regime has turned deadlier than ever. It murders in hopes of intimidating, and it intimidates because it has lost all legitimacy.
The Iranian regime holds power only by terror and for terror. It kills because it is afraid — and because it has so much to be afraid of.