Condemned Saeed Malekpour Under Pressure to Confess

by JoHarrington

A computer programmer may have been tortured in a bid to force a public statement, as Iran faces international criticism over his plight.

The software simply allowed users to upload images onto their own websites. It was commercially accessible.

Its designer has been sentenced to death.

Saeed Malekpour is a computer programmer living and working in Canada. But his father was dying back in his native Iran. As soon as Malekpour hurried to home to see him, he was arrested.

His program had been used to upload porn onto a website outside his control. That carried the ultimate sanction in Iran.

Torture and Threats to Coerce Televised Remorse

Saeed Malekpour's sister has told a human rights group that he's being subjected to psychological and physical abuse in prison.

A Canadian Permanent Resident, sentenced to death in his native Iran after writing a PC program, is reportedly being threatened and tortured in prison.

His jailers are seeking to extract a televised confession of his involvement in an adult website.

Saeed Malekpour has an untreated fractured skull and dislocated jaw, amongst other injuries, according to his sister. He has also been warned that members of his family face arrest, if he shows no remorse. The Iranian Supreme Court upheld the death penalty in his case.

He has been found guilty of managing an obscene internet site, after his name and e-mail address were found embedded in the HTML coding. It is a charge for which his family and supporters maintain he is innocent.

Maryam Malekpour told the International Campaign for Iranian Rights that her brother has been pressured by security forces, since the guilty verdict stood on January 30th 2012. 

She continued, "The fact that they have been putting him under pressure for a television interview over the past two weeks shows that they have no evidence other than his confessions for justifying his death sentence. They want to justify their legitimacy this way."

Ms Malekpour said that no doctor or surgeon has been called to see Saeed, despite the visible fractures around his head and face. She believes that her brother has been told by the authorities that, unless he speaks out against himself, she will be incarcerated too.

Meanwhile, ten fellow prisoners in Evin Prison, where Saeed is being held, have written an open letter detailing more ill-treatment witnessed against him. They report that he's had his teeth pulled out with pliers and a stun gun has been used to administer electric shocks. Saeed has also received floggings with cables and wires, in addition to the mental trauma of prolonged solitary confinement.

But the software developer has resisted all attempts to coerce him into a public expression of guilt.

His supporters state that he merely wrote an image uploading program for a Canadian client. Once sold, Saeed had no further control over how it was employed.  His wife, Dr. Fatemeh Eftekhari, denies that he was ever the director of a pornographic website. She further believes that her husband's devout Islamic faith would have prevented the sale, if he had known how his customer intended to use the program.

Richmond Hill MP Costas Menegakis Brands Saeed's Sentence a 'Sham'

On January 31st 2012, in Canada's House of Commons, he called for Saeed Malekpour's release.

Twenty-Five Canadian Senators Call on Iran to Release Saeed Malekpour

Iran is accused of 'egregious human rights abuses' after a debate in the Senate.

Conservative Senator Linda Frum has led the way in condemning Iran for its treatment of dissident prisoners, including Saeed Malekpour.

On February 6th 2012, after a 'lengthy debate' in the Senate of Canada (Sénat du Canada), politicians officially called for  'the immediate release of unlawfully held prisoners' in Iran.

Iran's human rights record was deemed 'unacceptable' and 'deplorable' by Senator Frum. The representative for Ontario was supported by twenty-four of her colleagues.

Each member stood in the Red Chamber and highlighted the position of an Iranian prisoner. They selected cases in which the accused was being detained in a manner that contravened the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Iran is a signatory to this United Nations Charter.

Saeed Malekpour was just one of the twenty-five people, whose situations were under discussion.

Canada has a special interest in his case, as he has permanent resident status there. Until his arrest, after returning to Tehran to visit his dying father, Saeed and his wife lived in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Costas Menegakis, the Member of Parliament for the constituency, had raised the issue in the House of Commons a few days previously. He called for sanctions against Iran, until they release Saeed Malekpour and honor their 'human rights obligations'.

The Iranian government have yet to publicly issue a response.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Amnesty International Canada Rally Outside Iranian Embassy

On February 4th 2012, the general secretary of A.I. Canada gave a speech to protest the treatment of Saeed Malekpour.

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Shirts to help raise awareness of human rights abuses. Be prepared with answers, when they provoke the pertinent questions.

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Updated: on 03/15/2014, JoHarrington
 
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JoHarrington on 04/30/2012

Not yet. Saeed Malekpour is still on Death Row in Iran. There's some fear (from his family and friends) that he's being fast tracked to the executioner.

EMK Events on 04/30/2012

did they get him off or not? Seems mad to me that he got arrested in the first place for this.



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