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Web Developer Sentenced To Death In Iran 368

Posted by Soulskill
from the some-things-are-worse-than-sopa dept.
An anonymous reader points out the case of Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian-born permanent resident of Canada who worked as a web developer. In 2008, during a visit to Iran, Malekpour was arrested and detained by Iranian authorities on charges that he designed and moderated "adult content websites." In 2009, he was sentenced to death for "acting against the national security, insulting and desecrating the principles of Islam, and agitating the public mind." Malekpour wrote photo-uploading software, and in a letter he sent from prison, he said it was used by porn sites without his knowledge. This week an Iranian court reviewed the case and confirmed that the death sentence was an acceptable punishment. According to one Canadian publication, "Human rights monitors believe that Malekpour, one of a number of people held on Internet-related charges, is trapped by a convoluted justice system that is manipulated by rival factions in Iran."
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Web Developer Sentenced To Death In Iran

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  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:53AM (#38779795)
    In this case, family matters. His father was (still is?) terminally ill. He wanted to see his dying rather one more time while he still had the chance. A story worthy of a cheap soap, but in this case happens to be true.
  • Re:In other words, (Score:5, Informative)

    by dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:54AM (#38779797)

    Or live in the UK: Richard O'Dwyer [guardian.co.uk]

  • Campaign to help (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lemming Mark (849014) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @08:56AM (#38780501) Homepage

    There's a campaign to help this man: https://peoplewithoutnation.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]

    Most recently, there's an appeal to write to the Prime Minister of Canada, who hasn't yet spoken out in support of Saeed:
    https://peoplewithoutnation.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/take-action-write-a-letter-to-stephen-harper-canadas-prime-minister/ [wordpress.com]

    The death sentence could be carried out imminently.

    Saeed Malekpour was in Iran to visit his gravely ill father. He was waiting for Canadian citizenship and the Iranian regime are aiming to make an example of him, having tortured him and denied him due process. I think the Canadian government does have a particular moral duty to stand up for him under the circumstances, although really all democratic governments ought to oppose this sort of thing.

    The Iranian regime seems to have an interest in intimidating the population (and making an example out of cases that are highly-publicised internally, such as this one) since there's an election coming up in March, as well as the general interest in keeping the population scared.

    Amnesty also have some information on the case:
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iran-must-halt-execution-web-programmer-2012-01-19 [amnesty.org]

    I'm just piecing together some information I've found here, I'm not connected to the case.

  • Re:In other words, (Score:5, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @09:18AM (#38780667)

    it may be true that our justice system committing these sorts of abuses less frequently than say the Iranians

    Considering how many people we arrest each year, and how comparatively few the Iranians arrest (the US is the world leader in arrests and imprisonment), I am not even sure that is true.

  • Re:In other words, (Score:5, Informative)

    by poity (465672) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @11:07AM (#38781597)

    He's reacting to the equivalence fallacies.
    This is what happens on Slashdot every single time:

    1. Some other country trespasses egregiously on human rights (e.g. death penalty for software unwittingly used by porn sites)
    2. First comment says "this is no different than the USA", gets modded +5
    3. Someone responds to that post with "that's not a fair comparison since the US reacts differently for [crime in topic]"
    4. Someone like you twists #3's words around to frame him as an apologist with low standards when in fact he was calling out the non-sequitur for having no logical connection.
    5. Someone chimes in about how this is a cultural phenomenon and we should sympathize with abusive foreign governments [slashdot.org] (to which I can only laugh because it begs the silly question: why doesn't the world sympathize with the abusive US government for reasons of cultural understanding?)

    Yes of course you SHOULD be vigilant in policing the abuses by the government, but when you can no longer separate bad from worse, you will have lost all hope of separating good from bad. If you want a country to get better, then you better know exactly where it stands in relation to others, those which are better than it and those which are worse than it. Only what that self-knowledge can you seek to improve. Defeatist like #2 have neither the insight nor the inclination to improve a country.

  • by Thing 1 (178996) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @12:18PM (#38782309) Journal

    Heck, everyone connected with any part of internet would all be guilty of insulting islam and therefore target for murder, then.

    Well, I did my part this morning: I imagined that the shit I took was an image of Mohammed, just before I flushed him.

  • Re:In other words, (Score:5, Informative)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:08PM (#38783277)

    It works both ways.

    Fact Sheet on the U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty [usembassy.gov]

    The numbers do not demonstrate imbalance:

    The United States has not denied a single extradition request from the UK under the treaty. While the U.S. does send more extradition requests to the UK than it receives, this difference is largely due to the differences in the size of the respective populations. The panel report notes that the U.S. has a population about five times the size of the UK, but there have been fewer than twice the number of people extradited to the U.S. than to the UK. The number of U.S. requests is not disproportionate.

    The standards are the same in practice:

    All extradition requests between the U.S. and UK must meet the same evidentiary standard: probable cause. All requests from the U.S. must meet the standard of “reasonable suspicion” required under UK law. However, all requests from the U.S. must also be based on a charging document that meets the “probable cause” standard required under U.S. law. This is the same standard that the U.S. requires of extradition requests from the UK The panel reviewed the evidence and concluded: “There is no practical difference between the information submitted to and from the United States.”

    Independent review of the United Kingdom's extradition arrangements [homeoffice.gov.uk]

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