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Iran: Justice for Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour

    Monday, April 24, 2017 - 12:44

     

    Web programmer Saeed Malekpour, is a permanent resident of Canada and Iranian national. He has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest in October 2008. In late 2010 he was initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web programme he created for uploading photos which the Iranian authorities said was used on pornographic websites. . His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2012.

    During his imprisonment he has been held in solitary confinment and he reports he was tortured into making a false confession.

    It is alleged a web based program he developed was used to post pornographic images to the internet. Saeed Malekpour has denied all knowledge of the program being used for this purpose.

     

    Please write to your Member of Parliament and to Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland.

     

    Writing to Chrystia Freeland

    Include in your letter:

    - Your concern for Saeed

    - His permanent resident status

    - A few details about his detention, torture, and “confession”

    - Urge her not to forget Saeed and to do everything in their power to secure his release

    End your letter:

    - With your signature

    - Hand write your name and address

    Address your letter to:

    Minister of Foreign Affairs

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland

    House of Commons

    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

    Salutation: Dear Honourable Chrystia Freeland

    Here's a sample letter.

     

    Writing to your Member of Parliament

    Include in your letter:

    - That you are a resident of the MPs riding

    - Your concern for Saeed and that he is a permanent resident of Canada

    - A few details about his detention, torture, and “confession”

    - Urge your MP not to forget Saeed and to do everything in their power to secure his release

    End your letter:

    - With your signature

    - Hand write your name and address

    Here's a sample letter.

    You can find the name and address of your Member of Parliament using your postal code here.

     

     

    Background

    Saeed Malekpour has been in detention since his arrest on 4 October 2008. He was jailed while on a family visit to Iran.

    Following his arrest, Saeed Malekpour was held in solitary confinement for more than one year. In 2009, Iranian state television repeatedly aired his “confession.” In an open letter dated March 2010, Saeed Malekpour stated his “confession” was extracted after prolonged torture following orders by Revolutionary Guard interrogators.

    Saeed Malekpour was sentenced to death in December 2010 following a trial that reportedly only lasted 15 minutes. For much of his detention Saeed Malekpour had limited access to legal counsel.

    In December 2012 Saeed Malekpour’s lawyer reported that Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence was suspended. His family subsequently reported the death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment.

    A growing number of media workers and bloggers in Iran are being targeted because of their work on the internet.

    Vahid Asghari, student and blogger who hosted websites critical of the government, was arrested in May 2008 and sentenced to death in January 2012 after being convicted in an unfair trial of “corruption on earth” for allegedly organising a pornographic network. In October 2009 he said in a letter to a judge that he had been subjected to torture and forced to make a televised “confession” subsequently broadcast on state television. In March 2013, the Supreme Court overturned his death sentence and sent the case back to Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court for review.

    Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 28, is serving a 15-year prison sentence for “membership of the [illegal] internet group ‘Iran Proxy’”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the Leader and the President”, among other charges. He was originally detained on 13 December 2009 after the unrest that followed the disputed presidential election in Iran the previous June. He has been on several hunger strikes, protesting his treatment throughout his detention.

    Blogger Sattar Beheshti, died in custody following his arrest at his home by Cyber Police on 30 October 2012. His family were unable to find out where he was being held or gain access to him until, on 6 November 2012, they received a telephone call advising them to collect his body from Tehran’s Kahrizak detention centre. After his arrest, he had spent one night in Section 350 of Evin Prison and had lodged a formal complaint, alleging that his interrogators had tortured him in pretrial detention.

    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.

     

     

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