TEHRAN—An Iranian émigré who became a permanent resident in Canada but returned to Iran in 2008 to visit his sick father has been sentenced to death for allegedly running a porn site in his adopted country. The news came via a website set up to galvanize international support for Saeed Malekpour, 35, who moved to Canada in 2004.
“After 40 days & nights waiting, the sentence was issued yesterday. Saeed has been sentenced to DEATH. Judge Mogheise said to Saeed’s lawyer that, “IT WAS NOT MY DECISION, Revolutionary guards (Vezarat ) [have] determined the sentence,” according to the site.
In March, according to the Montreal Gazette, Malekpour, who was sentenced Saturday, wrote a letter to prison officials in which he said he had been tortured into making a false confession. Supporters said he had simply worked as a freelance website developer and programmer, creating a program to allow designers to upload photos to their websites.
UPI reported that Malekpour’s wife said that he never built and moderated a porn site, as he was accused of doing, and that his online profile was used to create the site without his knowledge. She added that his lawyer will appeal the verdict.
The BBC has reported that Canada is "deeply concerned" over the sentence, and quoted Canada's foreign ministry as saying the legal process used to convict Malekpour was “highly questionable.”