Iran has decided that a Canadian man who visited the country a couple of years ago deserves to die for promoting porn.
Iran’s supreme court has upheld the death sentence for a web programmer who faces imminent execution after being found guilty of developing and promoting porn websites.
Saeed Malekpour was visiting the country in October 2008 when he was picked up by plainclothes police and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, where he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without charge.
After a year, Malekpour was wheeled out in front of the television cameras, confessing to a series of “crimes” in connection with a porn website. On the basis of his TV confessions, he was convicted of designing and moderating adult materials online by a court in Tehran.
He later retracted his confessions in a letter sent from prison, in which he said they had “extracted under pressure, physical and psychological torture” and in the face of threats to him and his family.
Malekpour is a permanent resident of Canada. He wrote photo-uploading software which was used by a porn website without his knowledge.
After an international campaign and expert evidence, the supreme court suspended Malekpour’s death sentence in June 2011 and ordered a judicial review
According to the Guardian, the view of the court was that it was all fair enough to execute a visitor to their country for something which is not a crime in the country they reside, and in any event they are probably innocent.
Drewery Dyke, of Amnesty International, said that it seems Iran believes its law can be extended to other countries.
Malekpour was charged with the crime of spreading corruption on Earth which is vaguely worded. So, basically, if you do anything that might miff the Iranian top brass and their ideologies, it might not be such a good idea to visit the country which once was a flower of human civilisation. That is unless you want to be strung up in a car park, which we can’t imagine is on anyone’s agenda.