Saeed Malekpour, an Canadian resident who designed and maintained a photo-sharing web app, may be executed at any moment in Iran.
According to a site about Malekpour’s case, the programmer’s death sentence, which was issued by the Iranian Supreme Court in January 2012, has left the court and has been sent to those responsible for following through on the sentence.
“Since Saeed Malekpour’s sentence is in the possession of the Circuit Court for Execution of Sentences, this means that they are capable of executing Saeed at any moment they wish,” said Malekpour’s attorneys in a statement to the site.
Malekpour was arrested in Iran in October 2008 while visiting his father, who was suffering from an illness. The charges he faced were “designing and moderating adult content websites,” “agitation against the regime,” and “insulting the sanctity of Islam.” Malekpour had created a photo-sharing site that, due to the nature of user-generated content, was sometimes used to upload and share adult content without his direct knowledge.
Malekpour was allegedly tortured and imprisoned in solitary confinement for more than a year in Evin Prison in Tehran.
In October 2010, a Revolutionary Court sentenced Malekpour to death, a verdict that was upheld when the Supreme Court refused an appeal in January 2012.
On Malekpour’s Facebook page, his sister wrote, “Saeed’s case file was sent to the execution of sentences office even though his lawyer’s never reviewed the case file beforehand. Many illegal actions have been taken to condemn Saeed to death, including the fact that no expert has ever reviewed the case.”
Malekpour’s family members aren’t the only ones speaking out in this heartbreaking case. Amnesty International has also made several statements on the matter.
“By confirming Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence after an unfair trial, the Iranian authorities are sending a message to Iranians not to freely express their views, or even to help others to do so, including on the Internet,” said AI’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director Ann Harrison in a statement last month.
“It is time for Iran to stop executing people, especially after trials that fall far short of international human rights standards,” Harrison concluded. “The authorities must also not unlawfully limit the right to freedom of expression with vaguely worded charges.”