Posts Tagged ‘Saeed Malekpour’

Dear supporters of Saeed Malekpour, we are welcoming the news of the suspension of the death sentence with cautious optimism as no official document has been presented to the family to confirm. Thank you for your continued support. We will post all the confirmed news on this blog. Image

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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.”

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June 4 is Saeed Malekpour’s birthday

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.

Thank you.

به امید آزادی سعید


- The Saeed Malekpour Campaign team

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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.

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FREE Saeed campaign supporter demonstrates a mock execution in Ottawa, Canada outside the Iranian embassy on February 4.


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

Washington D.C.
25 February 2012, | 1:00pm | in front of Islamic Republic offices
2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington D.C.

Various Dates 

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


Maryam Nayeb Yazdi
Human rights activist

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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.

National Post

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February 16, 2012

Urgent Appeals Needed: Saeed Malekpour Risks Death at Any Moment!

“International community only hope to prevent execution”

Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian Resident from Iran who has been living with the threat of death in Evin prison since October 2008, can be executed at any moment. When Saeed Malekpour’s lawyers visited the Revolutionary Court two days ago to follow up on their client’s case file, they discovered that the file containing the death sentence ruling was no longer there, and it was not in the possession of the Supreme Court either. Saeed Malekpour’s lawyers were informed that this only meant that the case file was sent to the Circuit Court for Execution of Sentences.

One of the lawyers said: “If we [Saeed's lawyers] had a chance to review the case file, then we would have been able to prevent the execution of the sentence. By conducting a review we could have pointed out that an expert has never been brought into the case for investigation. The case file was sent straight to the Circuit Court for Execution of Sentences without review.” He continued: “Since Saeed Malekpour’s sentence is in the possession of the Circuit Court for Execution of Sentences, this means that they are capable of executing Saeed at any moment they wish.”

Many illegal actions have been taken to condemn Saeed Malekpour to death, including the fact that his lawyers and no other expert has ever reviewed the case. The Iranian authorities want to execute Saeed Malekpour but his case file still possesses discrepancies never investigated. The only evidence used to condemn him to death are hours of false confessions he gave while under physical and psychological torture.

Saeed Malekpour’s sister sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations action center earlier today. The United Nations has not made any comments to date on Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence.

In Canada, human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam said today:  “The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister of Canada have been informed on the urgency of this matter and are taking measures calling on the Iranian regime to spare his life. We are hoping for quick action.”

Saeed Malekpour can be illegally executed at any moment unless the international community defends his life.  
Maryam Nayeb Yazdi 
Coordinator for the Saeed Malekpour Campaign

Email maryam.nayebyazdi@gmail.com

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Cartoon by Kianoush Ramezani for Saeed Malekpour

Letter in protest to Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence
Written by political prisoners in ward 350
Translation by Siavosh Jalili, Persian2English

In the wake of the confirmation of Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence by the [Iranian] Supreme Court, statements made by some of the judicial and security authorities have further increased the concerns [about the fate of Saeed Malekpour]. Saeed Malekpour, a web designer who also rented web space, is facing a certain execution sentence after three years of legal limbo, detention in prisons [and wards] run by the security organizations, and enduring lengthy periods of solitary confinement. The charge against him is directing so-called “obscene” websites. However, in a letter he wrote in 2010, he denied this accusation, disclosed the tortures he endured during the interrogations, and stated how he was forced to make false [self-incriminating] confessions and repeat them in front of a camera. He confirmed that he was only designing websites and renting web spaces. This latter statement is his real admission under normal circumstances while he was in ward 350. After the publication of this letter and the interviews given by his wife outside of Iran in which she dubbed the case of her husband a political one, Saeed Malekpour was transferred back to ward 2-A [under the control of the IRGC] after spending nine months in ward 350. He has been imprisoned in ward 2-A since December 2010.

Based on the laws governing due process in the Islamic Republic, all the stages of interrogation, detention, investigation and trial for Saeed Malekpour have been illegal. During the interrogations- contravene to the existing laws- he was subjected to physical and psychological torture. He was stripped and threatened with rape; his teeth were pulled with pliers; he was subjected to electrical shock by stun guns, he was lashed with cable wires; he was kept in solitary confinement for nearly one year (following his arrest); he was tried in a closed court session (while according to the Constitution, security and political trials have to be public); and was transferred to ward 2-A [solitary confinement] after the sentence was announced. He has not been handed in to the Iran Prison Organization since December 1, 2010.

No verdict or sentence can be considered legal under such circumstances. As a result, we, the undersigned, call the attention of all the awakened consciences to the flagrant violation of Saeed Malekpour’s civil and human rights, and express our opposition and revulsion of the sentence against Saeed Malekpour. Moreover, we would like to explain the following points:

Execution is an inherently inhumane act, because, in our view, no human being has the right to take away another human being’s life. Execution has never solved the problems Iranian society face. It has been simply used by the ruling establishment to avoid the question and the problem. As a result, the problems resulting in the death sentences have remained and the crackdowns have not been effective or helpful but, on the contrary, they have been catastrophic.

Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence is a political sentence that the regime has issued to further control cyber space and terrorize internet users. Such harsh sentences for cyber cases are targeting regular citizens who are using the Internet in different ways.  By resorting to this method, the ruling establishment, on one hand, terrorizes non-political Internet users, and on the other hand, it is showing muscle and boasting [its ability] to eliminate [dissent] by exposing the Iranian society’s political and social climate to the option of execution [as an apparatus of fear] . There is a precedent of such cases, and in the past years and on various occasions, individuals have been executed under such non-political pretexts as drug trafficking while the actual case was political.

Under the current circumstance where the Islamic Republic regime still uses the option of physical elimination and killing—which have been frequently used in the form of either execution or assassination—only public global protest and expression of revulsion can be effective. If not, siding with the regime in any form, or any lack of minimum social reaction would help the continuation of execution by the regime.

We believe that anyone anywhere in the world and in any social condition can protest against executions, and at least the illegal executions. Meanwhile scholars, writers, and those with access to the media have a greater responsibility as they can better get their voices heard.

In the past two years in ward 350 of Evin prison, we witnessed several executions. We testify that in none of these executions the existing laws of the Islamic Republic were observed. In all stages of the procedures [from arrest to execution] the law was violated, and the death sentences were political [rather than judicial].

A group of prisoners of conscience in ward 350 of Evin prison
February 6, 2011

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January 30, 2012

“IRGC mounts pressure on Saeed Malekpour and his family”

Toronto, Canada | On Sunday the Iranian regime’s media mouthpieces reported on the Supreme Court of Iran’s decision to uphold Saeed Malekpour’s execution sentence- two weeks after the Canadian resident’s lawyers had already informed his sister of the horrific news and major newspapers, websites, and human rights organizations had reported on it. The international community’s urgent response to Saeed’s devastating situation resulted in the release of some statements of protest by world government officials and departments including Britain’s and Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministers, Canadian Liberal party member Irwin Cotler, and the U.S. Department of State

Last year, after Judge Moghiseh issued Saeed Malekpour’s initial death sentence for internet-related charges, the Supreme Court judges reached the decision that the Canadian resident’s case file contained a list of discrepancies that Moghiseh needed to review and investigate before issuing a new sentence. In a desperate move to finalize Saeed’s death, Moghiseh reinstated the execution sentence in November 2011 during a trial that lasted only several minutes. Moghiseh, who is notorious for his corrupt behaviour, failed to acknowledge the discrepancies in the case file or launch an investigation.

About two weeks ago, the head Judge of the Supreme Court branch where Saeed’s case file was re-sent, had notified Saeed’s lawyer on the phone that the Supreme Court was somehow able to approve Saeed’s death sentence under the charge of “Corruption on Earth”- even with the discrepancies existing in the case file. The head Judge and his colleague reportedly refused to vote on Saeed’s execution sentence and were unable to confirm the identify of the three judges who had voted affirmatively. Saeed’s lawyers described the Supreme Court’s voting process as “highly suspicious and illegal.” Analysts and Saeed’s family and friends believe that, following the Canadian resident’s arrest, his life has been entirely orchestrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Nobody affiliated to Saeed’s defense case has been able to view Saeed’s case file in its entirety, thus it is unclear how the Iranian Judiciary was able to justify issuing Saeed a death sentence in the first place. “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 deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Last week Saeed had contacted his sister from prison and informed her that IRGC interrogators attempted to extract more false confessions from him and threatened to “do whatever they want” to his sister if she continued to speak up about her brother’s dire situation. Saeed had refused to cooperate with them. 

In 2008, IRGC agents were able to extract more than 30 hours of false confessions from Saeed after they had severely tortured him. The false confessions were repeatedly aired on the Iranian regime’s official state-run media nearly two years before Saeed was issued a sentence or received a trial. “Airing the confessions and implying Saeed’s guilt prior to a trial is considered illegal, according to Iranian and international laws,” said Toronto-based human rights activist Maryam Nayeb Yazdi. 

Starting last week, human rights activists, with the help of Amnesty International, launched a street campaign calling on people in different cities around the world to organize rallies to protest Saeed’s death sentence (interested participants should email: FreeSaeedMalekpourNow@gmail.com). The first protest was held last week in Montreal followed by this Saturday in Toronto’s Dundas Square. A protest is also being planned in Ottawa for next week. Future protest dates in other cities will be announced shortly. The rallies aim to shed light on the Iranian Judiciary’s lack of due process in issuing and upholding Saeed’s death sentence.

Joining in on the fight to save Saeed’s life, two internationally recognized Iranian activists also raised their voices against injustice. Iranian human rights lawyer and former political prisoner Shadi Sadr recently said:

“The reality is that the only evidence presented to issue the death sentence was the confessions IRGC agents were able to extract from Saeed Malekpour under extreme torture…It is completely apparent that the IRGC has exercised all its extrajudicial powers to interfere and force the Supreme Court to uphold Saeed’s death sentence, even when the Supreme Court had previously stated that the case file contained discrepancies. Saeed Malekpour can be hanged any day.”

Marina Nemat, an Iranian-Canadian author and former teenage prisoner in Evin said: 

“Since 1981, thousands of Iranians have been arbitrarily detained, tortured, and even executed. I was tortured in Evin prison in Tehran…Saeed Malekpour is one of the victims of the Iranian regime.”

For more information on the latest developments in Saeed Malekpour’s case, please visit the Free Saeed Malekpour Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Free.Saeed.Malekpour


Saeed Malekpour Campaign
Email: FreeSaeedMalekpourNow@gmail.com 

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Statement by Minister Baird on Malekpour Death Sentence

January 29, 2012 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada is deeply concerned about reports that Iranian citizen Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence has been confirmed by the Iranian authorities. His case is but one example of the refusal by Iranian authorities to respect their international human rights obligations.

“On December 26, 2010, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was told that her death sentence may still be carried out in the form of a hanging. She has been forced to confess to charges of murder and adultery on Iranian television.

“Iranian authorities sentenced seven administrators of the Baháí Institute for Higher Education to four- and five-year sentences solely on the basis of their faith.

“On January 14, 2012, Pastor Youcef Naderkhani was asked to renounce his Christian faith or face execution for the charge of apostasy.

“Iran’s current leaders regularly ignore their obligations under international law and have failed to meet internationally recognized norms of due process and transparency.

“We call on Iran to reverse its current course and meet its international human rights obligations and release prisoners such as Saeed Malekpour and others who have failed to receive fair and transparent legal treatment.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI

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