They tortured and murdered Zahra Kazemi. Iranian prosectors requested a death sentence and got 19½ year prison confinement for Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, and now they have imposed a death sentence on Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour.
Here is the story of Malekpour and what has happened to him:
Saeed graduated from Sharif University of Technology with a Bachelors degree in Material Engineering. He worked as a technical expert at Iran Khodro (the country’s biggest car manufacturer), as a technical inspector in a private corporation, and later as a material research associate for a metallurgical research center, RMRC in Tehran.
In 2004, Saeed and his wife moved to Canada, where he became a permanent resident. He began work as a freelance website developer & programmer responsible for developing only parts of websites or portions involving, for example, IT system management and system security.
While working as developer in Canada, Saeed designed a program that would allow his clients to upload pictures, and as is a common courtesy in programming, included his name and info in the file.
This program, Saeed’s wife – Dr. Fatimeh Eftekhari – explains, was used in an adult content website WITHOUT Saeed’s knowledge or approval. “The only recognizable name in the program was Saeed’s,” she continued, “which led to his arrest” and to the accusations claiming that Saeed was responsible for the development and administration of the website.According to news reports, Malekpour was charged with "taking action against national security by designing and moderating adult content websites," "agitation against the regime" and "insulting the sanctity of Islam."
A letter from Malekpour describes his treatment and how his "conviction" was secured:
Most of the time, the tortures were performed by a group. While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables, batons, and their fists struck and punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck. Such mistreatment was aimed at forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating, and to compel me to play a role in front of the camera based on their scenarios. Sometimes, they used extremely painful electrical shock that would paralyze me temporarily. Once in October 2008, the interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water.
One of those very days, as a result of being kicked, punched, and lashed with cables on my head and face, my face became very swollen. I lost consciousness several times, but each time they would wake me up by splashing water on my face [and continued with the torture]. That night, they returned me to my cell. At the end of the night, I realized my ear was bleeding. I banged on the door of my cell, but nobody came. The next day, while half of my body was paralyzed, and I was unable to move, they took me to Evin prison’s clinic. The doctor, after seeing my condition, emphasized that I should be transferred to a hospital. However, I was returned to my cell instead, and I was left to my own devices until 9:00pm. Three guards eventually transferred me to Baghiatollah hospital. On our way to the hospital, the guards told me I was not allowed to give my real name, and ordered me to use the alias Mohammad Saeedi. They threatened me with severe torture if I did not follow their orders.
Before I was able to be examined by the doctor, one of the guards met with the doctor on duty in the emergency room, and then I entered a few minutes later. The doctor – without performing any examinations, radiography, or tests – simply stated that my problem was stress-related. He wrote his diagnosis on the medical report and prescribed a few pills. When I asked him to at least wash my ear the doctor said it was not necessary. I was returned to the detention center with the clotted blood remaining in my ear. For 20 days, the left side of my body was numb, and I had little control over my left arm and leg muscles. I also had difficulty walking.
You can read all of Malekpour's letter here.On January 24, 2009, after being subject to severe beatings, one of the interrogators threatened to pull out my tooth with a pair of tongs. One of my teeth broke and my jaw was displaced after I was kicked in the face by him. However, the physical tortures were nothing compared to the psychological torments. I endured long solitary confinement time (totaling to more than one year) without phone calls or the possibility of visiting my loved ones, constant threats to arrest and torture my wife and family if I did not cooperate, threats to kill me. They also provided me with false news of arresting my wife.
There is a facebook page you can join to get more information. You'll find links to petitions that will be presented to the House of Commons requesting that the Canadian government do all it can to intervene on his behalf.
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