Amnesty International welcomes Saeed Malekpour’s return to Canada
After learning that Saeed Malekpour has returned to Canada following close to 11 years of unjust and unlawful imprisonment in Iran, Amnesty International Canada Secretary General Alex Neve said:
“We are relieved and delighted to learn of Saeed Malekpour’s safe return to Canada after more than a decade in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. Saeed’s resilient spirit in the face of torture, psychological abuse, forced confessions and unjust imprisonment has been truly remarkable. His return home is testament as well to the courage and dedication of his sister, Maryam Malekpour, who diligently worked to shed light on his situation and tirelessly led the campaign for his freedom. Amnesty International Canada extends a warm welcome home to Saeed and wishes him and Maryam well in their long-awaited reunion.”
Alex Neve further said:
“Amnesty International has long called on Iranian authorities to carry out a prompt, independent, impartial investigation into Saeed Malekpour’s allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and bring to justice anyone suspected of responsibility for the human rights violations he has experienced.
Amnesty International also continues to call on the Iranian government to release all prisoners of conscience in Iran and to address other cases involving human rights violations against Canadians or individuals with close connections to Canada. Canadian citizen Maryam Mombeini has been refused permission to leave Iran for eighteen months, since the troubling death of her husband, environmentalist and Canadian citizen Kavous Seyed-Emami, while he was detained at Evin Prison. She must be allowed unconditionally to return to her family in Canada.”
Saeed Malekpour, a web developer and Canadian permanent resident, was arrested in 2008 during a trip to visit his ailing father in Iran. Initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web program he created to upload photos to the internet, his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. On August 2, 2019, Saeed Malekpour safely returned to Canada.
Amnesty International considered Saeed Malekpour’s detention to have been on the basis of unfounded and politicized charges and the organization’s members across Canada and around the world actively campaigned for Saeed Malekpour’s release.
Amnesty International understands that neither Saeed Malekpour’s lawyer or family in Iran were involved in or aware of the circumstances leading to his departure from Iran. His escape was facilitated and arranged from outside the country.