Last updated: 29 January, 2012

Iran media confirm Canada resident’s death sentence

Iranian media on Sunday confirmed an Iranian man with Canadian residency has had a death sentence against him reinstated by the supreme court on charges he operated a pornographic website.

“The death sentence for Saeed Malekpour, in charge of a pornographic website, has been upheld in the Supreme Court,” Fars news agency said, without giving a source for its information.

It said the ruling was reinstated after unspecified prosecution “deficiencies” had been removed from Malekpour’s case.

The report confirms information from foreign lawyers connected to the case.

Shadi Sadr, a British-based lawyer with the advocacy group Justice for Iran, told AFP on January 19 that he had been told of the renewed death sentence by Malekpour’s sister.

The capital punishment had been annulled by the Iranian supreme court in June last year. No public explanation has been given as to why it was reinstated.

Malekpour, a 36-year-old computer programmer, was found guilty in December 2010 of “designing and moderating adult content websites,” “agitation against the regime,” and “insulting the sanctity of Islam,” according to his supporters.

The Canadian government and Amnesty International have called for Malekpour’s immediate release.

Malekpour’s supporters say he developed a program that allows photographs to be posted to the Internet, which was used without his knowledge for the creation of porn sites.

A resident of Canada since 2004, Malekpour was arrested in Iran in 2008 while visiting his dying father.