Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
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.”
Please contact the Prime Minister of Canada and request from him to intervene in Saeed Malekpour’s case. Saeed may be executed at any moment!
The International Center for Human Rights — Toronto, Canada: The Toronto-based International Center for Human Rights (ICHR) is organizing a demonstration against Saeed Malekpours’s death sentence in Toronto, Dundas Square, on Saturday, January 28th at 2:00pm . Members and Supporters of ICHR will bring Photos of Saeed Malekpour and stand in Dundas square to be his voice and show to the world what is happening to Iranian people. Fact sheets will be distributed to passersby who wish to obtain prisoners.
The Star: Shaken by the Arab Spring’s drive for reform, rattled by mass protests in major cities and pummeled by sanctions over their nuclear program, Iran’s clerical leaders are lashing out at those they blame for defying the regime.
Lawyers, rights activists, journalists, students, bloggers and other critics have been hauled before the courts and jailed as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s hardliners try to crush opposition voices, Human Rights Watch reports. And in what Amnesty International calls a “killing spree of staggering proportions,” the regime has paraded its toughness by executing more than 600 people including children in the past year for offences that range from drug trafficking, to terrorism, spying and sodomy.
Now a Canadian resident has been ordered to pay with his life for running afoul of the mullahs as they seek to suppress the Internet as well, the Star’s Olivia Ward reports.
Saeed Malekpour, an engineer and website designer who makes his home in the Greater Toronto Area, faces the death penalty for the catch-all crime of “insulting Islam.” His offence? Developing image-uploading software that was used — by others, he says — to post pornographic images. He was charged on a trip to Iran in 2008, and the country’s high court has just reconfirmed his death sentence. During his time in prison he says he was stripped by interrogators, beaten, flogged and threatened with rape.
Canadians who remember photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was beaten to death in 2003 in a Tehran prison after covering a student protest, will not find Malekpour’s plight hard to believe. And he’s not the only Canadian on death row. So is Toronto resident Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, on spy charges.
The authorities may well be making an example of Malekpour to warn others — including political activists — away from using the Internet for unauthorized purposes.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has criticized Tehran’s “utter disregard for human life,” and Malekpour’s death sentence. But Ottawa has little leverage, given its fierce and justified criticism of Iran’s nuclear program and support for terror. Still, the Malekpour case has now become an international cause célèbre. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists have all denounced his death sentence. Even if Malekpour were guilty as charged, his actions would not merit the death penalty in any credible justice system.
This case can only further discredit Tehran’s extremists in the eyes of Canadians and the world. Already, it has brought calls here for even tougher sanctions; former justice minister Irwin Cotler, who heads an interparliamentary group on human rights in Iran, has been particulary forceful. Regardless, Iran’s rulers should rethink this dubious conviction and rescind this brutal sentence.
Like so many others, Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution long ago turned sour. The country’s leaders delude themselves by imagining that they can repress dissidents endlessly. Things are especially harsh now as Iran prepares for parliamentary elections in March, and the leading factions try to outdo each other in rooting out enemies, perceived and real.
But every new political arrest, cruel interrogation, rigged trial and execution validates the reformist spirit of the Arab Spring. It is no insult to Islam to challenge repression. Iranians, too, are coming to recognize that.
19 January 2012
Iran must halt execution of web programmer
Iran must not execute a web programmer sentenced to death after one of his web programs was used to post pornographic images without his knowledge, Amnesty International said today, as the Iranian authorities continue their crackdown on bloggers and other users of the internet.
Iran’s Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence for Saeed Malekpour, 35, on Tuesday on charges of “insulting and desecrating Islam”. He could now be executed at any time.
The Supreme Court’s decision comes as the Iranian government is stepping up its targeting of internet users in a crackdown on freedom of expression ahead of the Iranian parliamentary elections in March.
“By confirming Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence after an unfair trial, the Iranian authorities are sending a message to Iranians not to freely express their views, or even to help others to do so, including on the internet,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s interim Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The Supreme Court should have investigated the reports of Saeed Malekpour’s torture instead of confirming his sentence. If he is held solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, he should be released immediately and unconditionally.”
Saeed Malekpour, a permanent resident of Canada, was arrested in October 2008 while visiting his family in Iran. He is alleged to have been tortured while being held in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin Prison for more than a year.
A Revolutionary Court sentenced Saeed Malekpour to death in October 2010. After the Supreme Court returned the case for further review, the Revolutionary Court re-imposed the death sentence in November 2011.
The charges against him are believed to be in relation to the misuse of a program he created which enabled photos to be uploaded online.
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 are also on death row after apparently unfair trials, awaiting execution on internet-related charges.
“It is time for Iran to stop executing people, especially after trials that fall far short of international human rights standards. The authorities must also not unlawfully limit the right to freedom of expression with vaguely worded charges,” Ann Harrison said.
A growing number of media workers in Iran are being targeted because of their work on the internet.
According to reports, journalist and blogger Marzieh Rasouli was arrested by security forces at her home in Tehran on Tuesday.
Two days earlier women’s rights activist and blogger Parastoo Dokouhaki, also known for her work as a journalist, was arrested by security forces at her home in Tehran. She has since been charged with “propaganda against the system” and believed to be held in Evin Prison.
On Wednesday, journalist and photographer Sahamaddin Bourghani was arrested in his home in Tehran. The reasons for his arrest are unknown.
Simin Nematollahi, a contributor to Majzooban-e Noor, a Sufi news website was arrested at her home in Tehran on 11 January on a charge of “propaganda against the system”.
Several members of the website’s staff were arrested in September 2011 and have since been freed on bail pending trial.
Dual Iranian and Canadian national, Hossein Derakhshan, known as the “blogfather” for introducing blogging to Iran, is serving a 19 and a half year sentence on internet-related charges. Fellow blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki is serving a 15-year sentence for his writings on the internet. He is in very poor health
The government has officially acknowledged executing at least 31 people already this year, although Amnesty International has received information suggesting at least another 22 people were put to death. This would bring the total number of executions for 2012 to 53 people. Five of those executions were carried out in public.
In December 2011, Amnesty International highlighted a massive wave of executions in Iran throughout 2011, with over 600 people being put to death. Most of these were for drug-related offences.
The scope of the death penalty is very broad in Iran and thousands are believed to remain on death row. These include: Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, a dual national of Iran and Canada, who was sentenced to death in 2008 on espionage-related charges; Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who faces death by stoning after being convicted of “adultery while married”; and Pastor Yousef Naderkhani, who is held pending the outcome of his retrial on the charge of “apostasy from Islam”.
STEPHEN HARPER, BRING SAEED HOME!”
“CANADA, RAISE YOUR VOICE LOUDER AGAINST EXECUTIONS IN IRAN!“
Time: Thursday, February 10 · 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Location: Parliament of Canada, 1 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON
On Thursday, February 10th, human rights activists and concerned citizens will head to the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa and raise their voices loud against executions in Iran, focusing on the illegal imprisonment and execution sentence of Permanent Canadian Resident Saeed Malekpour
JOIN US IN OTTAWA! For Toronto residents, we will head out on Thursday at approximately 8:00am. The time is not yet confirmed. More details will be available soon
Saeed has been sentenced to DEATH
After 40 days & nights waiting, the sentence was issued yesterday. Saeed has been sentenced to DEATH. Judge Mogheise said to Saeed’s lawyer that IT WAS NOT MY DECISION, Revolutionary guards (Vezarat ) has determined the sentence.
Saeed is very ill. He was taken to a hospital yesterday, after suffering for two weeks from severe chronic diarrhea.