Iranian-Canadian Web Developer in Danger of Imminent Execution
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

(3 February 2011) Iranian officials should base convictions on reliable evidence and due process instead of televised confessions and dramatic re-enactments, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.

The Campaign added that coerced confessions are being used to convict criminal and political defendants alike, while state media is used to sell dubious death sentences and verdicts to the Iranian and international public.

The Campaign also expressed its grave concern about the execution sentence of Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian-Canadian dual national and web developer, accused of establishing “pornographic websites.” He has been reportedly tortured to confess to these charges.

On 1 February 2011, state television’s Channel One evening news, known as “20:30,” broadcast a “confession” by Zahra Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian woman, one day after her execution on drug charges. In the video Bahrami “admits” to drug trafficking and re-enacts some scenes in her home showing how she hid cocaine and heroin. The program commented extensively on how international and Dutch outcries over the execution were misled, in an apparent attempt to justify Bahrami’s execution after the fact.

“The issue is not whether crimes occur in Iran, but whether death sentences are based on real trials, with real evidence, and real cases presented by lawyers,” said Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign. “Staged-for-TV confessions th... >>>