[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Sun Oct 30 12:54:52 CDT 2011
Saeed Malekpour again sentenced to death with an additional 7.5 years
imprisonment----The death sentence that had been struck down by the country’s
Supreme Court has been reinstated by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court
presided by Judge Moghiseh
Last Wednesday Saeed Malekpour was taken to Branch 28 of the Revolutionary
Court and was handed down a death sentence from Judge Moghisheh for the second
time. He also received an additional sentence of 7.5 years behind bars.
According to a trusted source that spoke to Human Rights House of Iran and
asked to remain anonymous, this last court session took place in a very speedy
manner. The source said, “During the court session at Branch 28 of the
Revolutionary Court, five of Saeed Malekpour’s interrogators were present to
testify against him along with another five individuals who were present as
witnesses against him. Those 5 individuals who testified against him were
people whose names had been on the Gerdab website as managers along with Saeed.
The interrogators were supposedly there to answer technical questions but they
had no knowledge whatsoever and were not able to answer questions posed by the
defendant’s attorney. Saeed’s family and attorney made numerous requests for
neutral judiciary-trusted IT experts to study and investigate his case and
share their findings in court, but their requests were denied. The court handed
down a verdict after 2 weeks.
Previously the country’s Supreme Court struck down the execution verdict that
was handed down to Saeed stemming from charges of alleged involvement in
obscene websites, and ordered a new trial to take place. Saeed’s court dossier
was then returned to Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court for review while he
remained behind bars.
Saeed Malekpour, born in 1975, is a Material Science Engineer who received his
undergraduate degree from the prestigious Sharif University. He worked in Iran
at a research center and as an inspector. He was a resident of Canada before
his arrest. He was accepted to Canada’s Victoria University and had moved there
for his graduate studies.
Saeed travelled to Iran from Canada to visit his ailing father in 2008. While
in Iran, plainclothes officials arrested him and he was kept at Evin prison in
solitary confinement for almost a year without access to legal representation.
According to his family and lawyer, the charges against Saeed are false; he is
an IT expert whose programs were used without his knowledge in adult websites.
Saeed in a letter from prison explained the inaccuracy of the trumped up
charges against him and said that if his programs were used by the specified
websites, he had not been aware of it.
Saeed was transferred 9 months ago from the public ward 350 of Evin prison to
the cells in ward 2A of the prison, which is under the supervision of Iran’s
Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). He has spent the past 9 months in this
section, the same ward he was held in the first year of his incarceration.
Saeed’s mother, Akram Esmailzadeh spoke to Human Rights House of Iran.
“About 9 months ago, they transferred Saeed back to ward 2A. They said this was
because of the letter he had written while behind bars in ward 350. This is why
he has been transferred out of the public ward. But this time he is not in
solitary confinement; he is in a cell with 4 other prisoners where the
conditions and food is better than in solitary.”
Saeed Malekpour’s mother who is in not in good health and exibits deep worry
for her son continued, “I am a tormented mother, during this long period that
Saeed has spent behind bars I have endured intense hardships along with my
other children, and my husband who passed away. Saeed’s father had cancer.
About one year after Saeed’s arrest, his father lost his life. The physical
condition of Saeed’s ailing father rapidly deteriorated as he agonized over his
With tears streaming down, Esmailzadeh continued. “These are not
characteristics of my son, I have not taught my son to lie. The charges against
Saeed cannot possibly be true. My Saeed is a principled boy; he put his brother
and sister through universities so now they have a college education. We have
endured great hardships during this time. I am a mother. I can’t bare the
thought of my Saeed being held in prison. I cannot believe that 4 years have
gone by with Saeed behind bars in Evin prison. It is excruciating for us to
tolerate this situation. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
Saeed Malekpour’s mother spoke to Human Rights House of Iran regarding the
recent sentencing and the verdict that is to be handed down to her son.
“I pray to god they don’t give him the death penalty again. I can’t bear this
any longer. During this period I have written so many letters to so many
places. I thank the legislators for responding to my letter, saying they will
pursue this matter. I had written letters to others too; the presidency, to Mr.
Khamenei, to judicial authorities. But I only heard back from the legislators
and I thank them for that. We don’t have any issues with anyone. We are not a
political family. I just want my son to be set free. I am a suffering mother. I
raised my children under difficult conditions. Their father was sick and I
worked hard so I could provide my children with an education. I am barely
educated myself but I taught my children to never inflict pain on any human
being. I taught them to be positive, contributing members of society.”
Akram Esmailzadeh spoke of her visitations with her son.
“It has become much better than it used to be. They allow us to see Saeed once
every 2 months. At the beginning it was not good. I could only see him every 4
to 5 months. Now every once in a while the prison officials even allow him to
make a short contact from jail. The encounters are good. They provide us a nice
room for in-person visits and even serve us [tea]. They are nice to us and
treat us with dignity. Saeed’s brother and sister visit him too, but I don’t
take my other daughter to visit her brother. She suffers from severe depression
stemming from Saeed’s incarceration and her condition worsens if she comes to
Saeed Malekpour’s mother discussed the circumstances of her son’s arrest.
“He had just returned to Iran to visit his ailing father. On the day of his
arrest he had gone to buy medicines for his sick father. We waited and waited
but he never returned until nighttime. When he finally came home, several
individuals who entered with him and started to search our home accompanied
him. Their behavior was fine and they were not rude. They left with Saeed and
took some of our personal items such as computers and even medicines and books,
which were returned to us later. After 3 days Saeed called us in tears and said
‘please bless me.’ For months we had no idea where he was being held and for
what reason he had been arrested. After 4 months the Revolutionary Court
informed us that Saeed was being held in Evin prison and we were finally
allowed to visit Saeed in prison.”
Saeed Malekpour moved to Canada in 2004 and travelled to Iran in 2008 in order
to visit his ailing father. IRG forces arrested him and Saeed spent almost the
entire first year of his incarceration behind bars in solitary confinement. His
wife, Zahra Eftekhari wrote in a letter that was published about a year ago, in
which she shared that when she visited her husband he had visible signs of
torture on his body.
In a published letter that Saeed Malekpour wrote while behind bars, he relayed
the severe torture he endured especially during the time he spent in ward 2A.
“Most of the times groups of interrogators would torture me at the same time.
While I was blindfolded and handcuffed several individuals would kick me and
beat me armed with cables, batons, whips, and their fists. They struck me all
over my body including at times my face and neck. Their actions were aimed at
forcing me to write what the interrogators were dictating, and to compel me to
play a role in front of the camera based on their written scenarios. Sometimes
they used electric shock, which was excruciatingly painful and for moments
rendered me immobile. During a torture session in September 2008 while I was
naked and blindfolded they threatened to rape me with a water bottle. During
the interrogations the force of the lashes, the kicks and punches to my face
were so fierce, my whole face had become severely swollen. I passed out from
the intensity many times during these interrogations and they would pour water
on my face to wake me up.”
Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Saeed Malekpour to death
stemming from charges of “management of pornographic sites, insulting the
clergy, insulting the leadership, insulting the president, affiliation with
anti-government groups, and corruption on earth.”
More information about the DeathPenalty