Programmer Sentenced To Death In Iran For Upload Software

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Human rights groups call for Saeed Malekpour to be released and allege torture

The Iranian Government has sentenced Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian-born web programmer living in Canada until his 2008 arrest, developed software for uploading images online, to death

According to AFP reports, the programmer, who was arrested by Iranian police when he entered the country to visit his terminally ill father, was sentenced to death in December 2010, but this was annulled after the Canadian Government stepped in to oppose the verdict.

Corruptor of the Earth

The death sentence has now been re-instated amid protests by his supporters and international human rights watchdog Amnesty International, which said that Iran must not execute the web programmer, who was sentenced after one of his web programs was used to post pornographic images without his knowledge.

According to civil liberties activist website, United For Iran, charges levied against the programmer include “Taking action against national security by designing and moderating adult content websites”; “Agitation against the regime”; “Contact with foreign entities”; “Insulting the sanctity of Islam” and “Insulting the Supreme Leader and President”. The site also claims that Malekpour was charged with the crime of Mofsed fel-Arz, or spreading corruption on Earth, a crime punishable by death.

After his 2008 arrest, Malekpour was allegedly held in solitary confinement for over a year where he was tortured into confessing to running porn sites. According to the Guardian, he later retracted his confession in a letter where he wrote “A large portion of my confession was extracted under pressure, physical and psychological torture, threats to myself and my family, and false promises of immediate release upon giving a false confession to whatever the interrogators dictated.”

Demands for release

“Once in October 2008,” he continued, “The interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water. While I remained blindfolded and handcuffed, several individuals armed with cables, batons, and their fists struck and punched me. At times, they would flog my head and neck. Such mistreatment was 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 scenarios.”

Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Ann Harrison said that the court’s decision comes as the regime is cracking down on bloggers and other Internet users. “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,” Harrison said.

“The Supreme Court should have investigated the reports of Saeed Malekpour’s torture instead of confirming his sentence. If he is held solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, he should be released immediately and unconditionally” she added.

“The government has officially acknowledged executing at least 31 people already this year, although Amnesty International has received information suggesting at least another 22 people were put to death. This would bring the total number of executions for 2012 to 53 people. Five of those executions were carried out in public,” said the watchdog in its statement, adding that more than 600 people were put to death in Iran throughout 2011.

  1. Many, many people are killed by the various states within the USA. State execution is very acceptable to most Americans. Why should this person’s death be any different? He broke the law and the penalty is execution.

    Personally, I think it’s wrong.

      1. Capital punishment is inhumane and needs to be outlawed.

        But a lot of the comments on here are very hysterical and based more on xenophobia rather than rational thought.

        My view is that the programmer should be released immediately.

        However, Iran is a sovereign nation and free to legislate as it wishes. The USA uses unmanned frones to carry out extrajudicial murders of people who pilitically disagree with it. It uses the pretext of the bogus war on terror, but perpetuates terror itself by targetting innocent people who are not able to retaliate. It and its citizens have as a consequence lost the moral right to criticise others for executing people. At least this programmer had a trial. The drone targets do not even get that.

        Of course a lot of inflammatory and emotive language is used such as calling Iran backward and barbaric none of which really furthers the argument against capital punishment.

    1. This law is an joke and you no it mate especially laws that come under the religious banner this is so backward of modern society and a waste of a young life was’nt like he murdered anyone :(

      1. I think a normal person would not have had as many spelling and grammatical mistakes as you. “Normal”???? I don’t think so!

        1. Poor attempt to undermine someone’s point. Trying to act as spelling police on the comments section of a website is not “normal”, it’s pathetic

    2. something must be very wrong with you! this is not a discussion on the death penalty. This is about the reasons this chap has been condemned. Do you really want to compare the US justice with the infamous Iranian one where homosexuals, including adolescent are hanged,women are stoned and the opposition is brutally persecuted. Or in other words, if you were accused of this particular offense or any other, where would you prefer the Court to be, Teheran or Washington?!! Come’s, be decent for a change

    3. Those that are State Executed in USA are because they have committed crimes against other people, usualy murder & rape. How can you even compare Saeeds “crime” to these? What law did he break? And people wonder why the Western world has no faith or trust in the Eastern Governments.

        What will the U.S do to J.Assange if they manage to extradite him to the U.S for exposing the truth ?

    4. @bydel i must say you are a little stupid IMO. Typical to turn this on the US who execute people for child murder or multiple murder etc.. come on play the game..

    5. What will be – will be,
      main cause for hate to others is religion or religious believes (one religion hates another – not the people)
      Therefore Most Religions cuase destruction, Death & wars.
      Howeever Death is required – Law of Nature
      & This world is over populated
      if you get angry with people comments then your religion is not working , or you need help?
      Years & years ago there was no Tv but Deaths of all sizes still happened.
      The Difference,well, the world has gone soft & the people have too much power.
      to sum it up – Lifes a bitch, then you die (Get over it)
      Remove all religions & life would 100% get easier ( never going too happen) a big shame

    6. So they do not like porn? They should sentence themselves to death, Fair is fair, If they are so religious and pure why are they sticking bottles up prisoners arses to gain confessions, Sound more pervy than people who i suppose do it for fun?, Religion is supposed to be about god, whatever God is the same god for everyone, The people who think they can judge for him for thier own ends using torture, If it is not too serious god will punish, an eye for an eye is right but who did this man kill? Law is Law but religion is religion, God gives us life to learn and prophets are sent to teach Gods will, they did not go round preaching how to kill or what for, they teach, How can someone learn if they are dead. These religious leaders should read the ten commandments Ect, If they do they will be more worried than most about going to hell, Or do they not really believe god in all his wisdom is serious and gave them licence to kill, We are human and have the power to decide what is right or wrong and what punishment is required for what crime, He gave live to us individually not collectively, You cannot kill someone to teach another, This is blaspheming, they are giving themselves the right to murder, Just using religion to right wrongs

    7. This man has NOT committed any crime, yet he has been sentenced to death as a human sacrifice, practiced by Islam. No doubt by this human sacrifice, the executioners will feel justified of their own sin! Iran is now one of the top three countries in the world, practicing Human Sacrifice. The blood they are shedding will reach to Heaven and God will avenge it and those involved in these executions.

      Also, if it is a crime to make a piece of software to transport data (which is essentially what he made), then it is also a crime to make a gun, nuclear material and yes, even a hangman’s noose…since all of these can be used for evil, just like the software this man made was alleged to have been used for evil by someone without hi knowledge!

        Iranian logic is up the spout on this. He’s being sentenced because he wrote a piece of software that was used by someone to post porn… Surely then, the fault must be either the creators of the internet and even more, the state telecom for transmitting the porn on their internet. Or maybe the writers of the software that the telecom software runs on, or the operators who operate the telecoms industry and their probably, SINGLE ISP provider. Clearly this is being done out of spite and Iran thinks it can flex its muscles with this when in fact, it has, or will be scoring a very fatal own goal. A very sad day in Iranian public relations and the West didn’t need to do anything.

    8. ‘bydel’ is absolutely spot on and the rest of you are idiots frankly.

      ‘bydel’ didn’t say it was fair or just that Saeed has been sentenced to death. You all seem hung up on whether what he is alledged to have done is illegal by American standards (typical) and whether the death sentence is justified by this.

      What ‘bydel’ is saying is that most Amercicans don’t have a problem with the death penanly in their own country, so what gives you the right to tell anogher country what they can do with regards to the death penalty?

      Personally I don’t believe someone should be sentenced to death if thwy are convicted of murder, but a lot of Americans believe that is jusst – personally I feel it is barbaric.

      What all you morons seem to be saying that the death penalty is right so long as it’s being used correctly and that’s just plain dumb.

    9. Indeed, some murderers in the USA have been executed over the last few years. For you to compare this with the Iranian execution, torture and lengthily imprisonment of homosexual people, alleged adulterers, sorcerers, blasphemers, pornographers and opponents of the government and sharia is crass, childish, uninformed twaddle.

    10. Bydel; Dont be so stupid, it is people like you that have the world in the mess that its in. Religion is now being used as an excuse for violence!

      The person who uploaded the video or image committed the crime. Not one deserved of death!!

      1. Religion has *always* been used for cromes – extortions, killing, robbing, manipulation and subordination. And it is still used for that, everywhere.

        Can you even imagine a speech by a politician where doesn’t mention God, or thank God for this or that, or have “a prayer in his heart…”? How do you think a politician in US would fare in any kind of elections or PR excercise if he publicy announced that he is an atheist? Have you ever even heard of anyone in US politics doing that? You haven’t, and with a good reason – that would be a career suicide.

        US is a Christian Taliban effectively, just with slightly different objectives and methods, but the concept and principles of their existance is the same.

  2. Govt is for the People, People are not for the Government. Iranian Govt is still living in a Dream, through web anything is possible nowadays. Its silly to blame Malekpour .

    1. He didn’t broke the “law” He made a piece of software and others used it to make a porn site.

      It’s like you bought a videocamera and get the death penalty because somebody else used your camera to make a porn movie.

      (Obiously they are all crazy in Iran with laws like these. But that’s a different story)

  3. bydel, this prisoner’s death is different because Iran’s laws are backward and cruel. While I oppose capital punishment, I can understand why U.S. states like Texas impose it on murderers or child rapists. But Iran’s use of the death penalty here is barbaric.

    His alleged crimes don’t even make sense. How does designing adult content websites constitute “taking action against national security”?! Why does Iran consider “Insulting the sanctity of Islam” and “Insulting the Supreme Leader and President” to be crimes? And what’s up with “spreading corruption on earth”? That crime is so vague that the Iranian government could use it to execute almost anyone they didn’t like!

  4. The problem in countries like Iran is that a mediaeval culture has been brought into the modern era more rapidly than its moral and legal principles can cope with.

    It’s high time we put more effort into developing fusion power. No dependence on oil, no more oil money to turn these places into danger zones.

    1. Such a hardcore punishment for a software bungling.
      There shall be some difference in punishing different crimes as per Islamic principles too.
      A prmedicated murder is not to be on par with porno, or adultary . There shall be moderation in the 21st century on interpreting ageold versions designed for those times.

    2. In reply to Anteaus, there’s no need to wait for fusion power. The thorium fueled molten salt reactor can provide everything that fusion could, with the difference that it’s proven technology. A working prototype was built and successfully operated for a number of years. It’s proliferation resistant, the fuel supply is effectively inexhaustible, and while there is nuclear waste from it, it’s comparatively shortlived and becomes nonhazardous within about 300 years. Best of all, the radioactive fission products get continuously removed from the reactor during operation, so even if the thing blows sky high, there’s never much radioactive material in the reactor to get out (probably less even than currently envisioned fusion reactors would contain).
      This tecnology was developed almost 50 years ago and you have to wonder why it hasn’t been rolled out worldwide long before now. It certainly seems like there are vested interests at work who want to keep the world dependent on oil!

    3. In the UK in the past couple of weeks there has been a lot in the press about the possibility of Israel (and/or others) attacking Iran to stop them developing Nuclear weapons, and how people are becoming worried about it. I’m becoming worried too. But then one reads stuff like this, and it starts you thinking that if they want to behave like savages then they’ll have to be treated like savages. The rest of the world doesn’t need nutters like this with powerful weapons. Shame is that some ordinary Iranians will suffer from the fallout, and they don’t deserve it. Otherwise you’ve got to think the sooner the regime is wiped out the better.

  5. This is ridiculous! For some on here to say hes committed a crime is ridiculous – hes created a piece of software! Its a bit like saying someone who builds a car which is used to run someone over is somehow responsible…

    As alluded to we really do need an alternative to oil. This way we would be able to cut off the source of income that keeps vulgar governments like this in power.

    Iran needs a Suryan type uprising to topple their government and start with something acceptable to normal modern society.

  6. I read this with considerable interest. Firstly, the Iranian Authorities should ban 100% capital punishment. I was a juror on a murder trial once and there was doubt…imagine if we the jury had condemned this person to death, let life be life. At least this defendant had a jury unlike the Iranian regime! We are in the IT world together, we all need to unite here, IT people are above all these pathetic politicians…. You only have to look how crap they are at decision making in the IT arena! We need unity here to help a fellow…. Maybe protest if the Iranians are at CeBIT Hannover in March…. We need to put pressure on the Iraninans and push to keep this guy from having his right to life taken away by a corrupt bunch of pathetic mutters!

  7. I really hope everyone who gets shocked by this new gets shocked too when they hear all western goverments and armies are doing around the world.

  8. OK, so maybe he has offended people with the actions of others using a tool he has created but death????…. had he created a weapon of mass destruction I would come to terms with it, but a porn site app? just goes to show a little knowledge is a powerful thing…. sometimes too powerful! I for one think this storey is one which no doubt only scratches the surface of a much larger problem with the justice systems in country’s which hide their government’s behind closed doors!what a waste!


    1. Chris, YOU are the pompous, gullible fool.
      Alan – shouting is moronic. As is using nearly 200 years out of date crimes by the state to excuse crimes by the state NOW.
      Chris is a gullible arrogant fool. YOU are WORSE.
      Both politically correct neither have a clue about the situation

    1. According to Galloway and the rest of the politically correct, anything muslim extremists do is “understandable” and “our fault” for some moronic reason.
      But….they are getting jobs out of this kind of thing…..

  10. I find it impossible to accept the logic for the death penalty. If someone uses electricity to electrocute an enemy, should Benjamin Franklin be held guilty for the crime?

  11. I find it impossible to accept the logic of delivering death penalty to a person for an offence committed by some other person. Would it be reasonable to hold Benjamin Franklin responsible for death caused by electrocution intentionally by someone else?

  12. Pedophilic porn sites on another news site… so, errr, amnesty supports the violaton & MOLESTATION of children??? These so called secular Iranians (PERSIANS) are sooo inflicted by the INFERIORITY COMPLEX and they hate their countrymen so much! They are seedy and materialistic- they lack soul!

  13. acccording to another news site, he was in possesion of child pornography and designed child porn sites… AMNESTY have a lot to answer for on this. The violation & molestation of children is acceptable? this is a vile crime! This man and many like him who claim to be PERSIAN and not IRANIAN, suffer from a SERIOUS form of INFERIORITY COMPLEX- usually they become subjects of white secularism; filthy, sordid, sleazy human beings – materialistic and sexually depraved! They condemn their country folk and become above them, all haughty and arrogant! Yet, they are NEVER accepted by society- on either side!

  14. Edl, your racist ideas about Persians make you a sick, feeble-minded moron.

    You seem incapable of understanding that this man’s “crime” was to create a bit of software that somebody else used to post images. Whether they were morally repugnant or not, if any crime was comitted it wasn’t his crime.

    Iran is run by an evil, tyrannical regime that places fascist, totalitarian religious oppression at the heart of its justice system.

    Torturing someone for years in order to force a confession that will lead to a brutal death for creating a bit of software – anyone who thinks that is justice is seriously maladjusted.

    Sadly, no world leaders possess any shred of morality – any apparently good deeds done by the governments of the world are entirely incidental. The evil Iranian government, as with many other governments across the world, was installed by western powers, usually for the benefit of a few powerful policians.

    We put the Shah in charge in the 50s, giving him unlimited domestic power to rule the country as brutally as he liked. Why? So we had a puppet-leader who would sell us oil at favourable rates.

    Later, America installed Saddam Hussein’s party over the border in Iraq. Why? For the same reason. Further on down the line, leaders in the US and Britain pitched both these countries against each other. Why? So we could sell weapons to both sides and make a fat profit for arms manufacturers like British Aerospace – a cornerstone of the British economy, and a company in which many prominent British politicians hold shares in.

    Why is the US in Afghanistan and Iraq now? Just look at the companies that stand to benefit from the war – arms manufacturers, military suppliers, oil companies. All holders of investments by prominent figures in US politics, the Bush family, the Bin Laden family etc etc.

    How many trillions and trillions of $ and £ and Euros of taxpayers’ money have been spent destroying places like Afghanistan and Iraq, and how many lives have been lost by soldiers fighting (on both sides) for a false cause and by innocents chalked up to “collateral damage” so that a handful of absurdly rich and powerful people can acquire even more personal wealth?

    Mark my words, Iran is next in the firing line. Painting people like this programmer as an evil scapegoat, espousing racist views, praying to God or Allah and believing that your enemy wears a flak jacket instead of a suit – all these things all going to make it that much easier for them to continue their greedy dance of destruction across the world.

    Wake up and use your brain.

    1. the guy is innocent no matter how much we cry foul n say
      that the iranian regime shouldnt kill him is of no regard to them, whats needed is patience, someone,somewhere has a bullet with dinnerjackets name on, he knows its coming, just doesnt know when, if you have a mad dog you put it down , i wait with bated breath for that happy day.

    2. The world is a mad bad place and these days one can get murdered for being thought to be a supporter of the “wrong” football team so do be careful about the colours of ones clothing. Bring in religion and things get even worse. As to people complaining about “futile wars” do they not realize that the enemies of the west are trying to break us by peddling drugs? Now I’m no zealot and if people can afford whatever habit they have its OK as long as it doesn’t affect me. The problem is that when the down-and-outs become addicted how are they going to afford their habit? The usual methods are burglary, shoplifting and prostitution hence the drug barons are breaking-up our society by the back door. These drug peddlers don’t need nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers and vast armies as their asymmetric warfare simply involves turning their enemies into drug crazed burglars. In this respect perhaps Indonesia has the right approach in dealing with drugs.

  15. No crime is absolute or universal, but is simply what a society says that it is. Therefore what is a crime in one society is of no account in another.

    Do not apply your own tribal customs to the universe.

  16. Irans government is a wicked one. They execute on a whim,and this guy will die on someones whim. He has done nothing to be punished by death,but Iran like to “kill” anyway. No better than the government of Syria or Zimbabwe or North Korea. Absolute butchers.

  17. Odd how the likes of Galloway rant about the “rights” of islamic extremists, and against our own governments attempts to circumvent the Human Rights Acts lunacy, and defends Iranian extremism and terrorism support, while attacking anything from the west
    Then go about trying to paint decisions like this as “understandable and nothing to do with us”
    Galloway rants at double standards, but is every bit as guilty of them.

  18. Execution in this case is not acceptable, had he committed Murder then he deserves it.
    So many come here committing offences that are serious, they are not executed. Many are often not deported back to their own countries of origin. They should be. He can be transferred back and serve a sentence of their choice.

    However, which ever country we are in, we should observe the Law. The Muslim and Islamic law are very different to our’s and he should of been more observant in what he was doing. But he does not deserve to die for a mis demeanor offence.

  19. I suppose that death sentences should also be passed on Bill Gates and countless employees of Microsoft, internet service providers and telecommunication companies whose programs were used to post pornographic images without their knowledge.

  20. Prior to my year long stay in Lagos, Nigeria, i would have found this story abhorrent and unjustifiable.
    However, I came back from Lagos wishing that the British government had the “balls” to reintroduce some form of capital punishment.
    Whether you like the idea or not, capital punishment works, don’t let the American example tell you it doesn’t. When you have very large numbers of people living on the breadline, starving and desperate but the fear of the punishment they face keeping them from stealing, robbing or mugging other citizens you can’t argue it doesn’t.
    Look at the UK for example, we pay our lay-abouts to spend their lives on the dole, living off state handouts to top up their mobiles &/or buy four “tinnies” &/or a 1/8th of weed a night and they still go out and commit crimes against other citizens, without fear of the consequences.
    I believe it’s no coincidence that we have a generation of “hoodies” spreading fear into the elderly as they walk to the local shopping centre for groceries 20 years after we took punishment out of the schools hands and into the weak, likely duplicated lifestyle of their parents.
    For me, it’s time we stop living a fairytale existence and accept that the dark forces are growing as quick as the common mans overdraft, One lesson history can teach us is that you fight fire with fire to succeed.

  21. we should be invading Iran anyway, they’re the route cause of most of the extremist and anti-Semitic beliefs that are ruining any chance of an end to the war.
    Iran is one of the least democratic states in the world, and whatever rights do exist are only applied to muslim men.
    part of the problem here is that morons like IAN PROCTER who believe that unemployed people are to blame for unemployment rather than the government, have an equal say as people who don’t need to wear a helmet. thats like blaming people with cancer for the state of the nhs!
    the only solution is freedom for all people from their oppressive governments.

      How can they be anti-Semetic when they are Semetic themselves? I think you should stop beating around the bush and say anti-Jew but aren’t most people!

  22. Personally, I think Iran brings shame to Islam. As do the many fanatics who corrupt their religion for personal gain.

    1. Each and every human being/life is precious but when the world starts screaming for the human rights of one person ignoring the same rights for hundreds of others then the poor one person’s human rights suffer. By adopting such approach we don’t do any service to anyone.

      A poor minority in Burma is being massacred and the West is meeting and greeting Ms Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy Burmese leader and other Burmese leaders. Neither the guests nor the hosts could bring themselves to let alone condemn even mention the massacre taking place in Burma as I write.

  23. This is another appalling example of a bunch of deranged , religious fanatics holding on too power .

    Eventually they will fall and will be destroyed in the violence that they created .

  24. Whatever your moral views are, a death penalty for writing some software which uploads pictures to the internet is just dumbfounding.

    How can you deem it acceptable to punish a guy with death for this? Regardless of your nationality, religion or beliefs there is absolutely no logical reason to punish in this way.

    I am genuinely shocked at this story, and to think that the internet is a fairly recent invention so the law can’t even be that old!

    Hopefully common sense will prevail.

  25. Once in October 2008,” he continued, “The interrogators stripped me while I was blindfolded and threatened to rape me with a bottle of water.

    He is being charged with running pornographic websites.

    One assume the Iranian criminal justice system fails to understand irony.

  26. It is not technology that is corrupt, just people using it. The programmer is innocent, and disconnected from alleged crime, which isn’s a real crime. People are born through personal sex, evolution, regulating consenting couples is no business of state, with some crank religious interpretation, makes them dinosaurs. They won’t die out on their own, positive action needs to be taken to cure the virus 😉
    So the inventor of a more advanced battery would be executed because some woman wants to put it in her vibrator. Instead he’ll move or simply not risk his idea. So they loose out on lighter military kit, portable lasers and robotic troops. This idiot leader’s interpretation on Mohammed hasn’t given them a recipe for world domination, but future annihilation. If you can’t keep up with technology, you can’t win a war. Just cut the internet all together, so we’ll smash them in the future. Surely it is much cheaper just to drop a nuke or two now, rather than risk development? We need a stronger UN, with no security council, who can take such decisions.

  27. Americans torture with chemical injections and water, that leaves no evidence of torture wich is even worse than beating someone to confess.