The Star: A lawyer for condemned Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour said Iran has suspended the computer programmer’s death sentence on charges of masterminding a network of pornographic websites. Malekpour had submitted a plea for compassion to Iranian authorities some time ago, citing his good behaviour during his four years in Tehran’s Evin prison and the fact neither he nor his family has been involved in political activities
His plea coincided with Eid al-Fitr, a day of peacemaking and charity that marks the end of Ramadan, when Iran occasionally pardons prisoners.
Lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei told the Iranian Mehr news agency that this “repentance” plea had been accepted and “the death sentence has been suspended.”
Malekpour’s relatives, however, have not received any documents confirming the suspension and are awaiting further developments.
Malekpour, who was residing in Canada, was arrested in 2008 on a visit back to Iran to see his dying father. Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has widely publicized his case to discourage Iranians from using the Internet to criticize the clerical regime or violate its strict moral code.
Malekpour insists a software program he created for a client while in Canada was used without his knowledge to post pornographic images. Nonetheless he was allegedly tortured to extract a forced confession and charged with “insulting and desecrating Islam.” >>>
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