Death Sentence for Iranian Porn Programmer Upheld

TEHRAN, Iran — Website programmer Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence for developing and promoting porn sites has been upheld by Iran’s supreme court.

The Iranian-born Canadian resident now faces imminent execution despite a reprieve last June when the sentence was suspended and set for judicial review after his defense lawyers introduced expert evidence amidst an international outcry for justice.

According to the Guardian, Malekpour was arrested in October 2008 and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, where he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without being charged.

He later appeared on state television confessing to a series of crimes detailing his involvement with porn sites that led to his conviction.

In a letter from his prison cell, the programmer ultimately retracted his confessions and claimed he made the statements under duress that included physical and psychological torture and threats against his family.

Malekpour wrote, "Once, in October 2008, 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."

The programmer’s sister, Maryam Malekpour, said in an interview with Roozoline, the supreme court had confirmed the death sentence despite many discrepancies in the case. "Saeed's lawyers were told that his death sentence will be issued this week."

Maryam Nayeb Yazdi, a Toronto human rights activist who has followed Malekpour's case, told the Guardian, "Saeed is in imminent danger of execution. He has never been provided with a fair trial at any point during this horrific and twisted ordeal.

"There are various discrepancies in Saeed's case file that were supposed to be reviewed and investigated by the revolutionary court, but the judge ignored the discrepancies and reissued the death sentence anyway.

"Saeed is being used as a scapegoat in a string of political games led by the revolutionary guards."

A spokesperson for Amnesty International said capital punishment “extends the long, cold reach of execution in Iran” and the decision exemplifies how the country is setting itself up to censor online information.

"He is alleged to have created 'pornographic' Internet sites and [is accused of] 'insulting the sanctity of Islam', for which he was charged with 'spreading corruption on earth,' a vaguely worded charge which attracted the death penalty in Iran.

"The use of vaguely worded charges is not new in Iran, but the allegation that these were carried out on the Internet is. It is an unwelcome addition to the catalogue of ways in which Iran finds it can execute its own citizens.”

Related:  

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Kansas Senator Dismisses Free Speech Concerns About Her Age Verification Bill

The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to endorse the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists, despite Democratic Senators expressing concerns about implications for free speech.

South Dakota Republicans Admit Age Verification is Part of National Campaign Against Online 'Filth'

The South Dakota House Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to endorse the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists, which the bill’s backers described as part of a national campaign to fight online “filth.”

Actor Rick Schroder Releases Bizarre Trailer for Anti-Porn Propaganda Series 'Erotic Erosion'

Former child actor and current anti-porn activist Rick Schroder is moving forward with “Erotic Erosion,” a new propaganda series targeting the adult industry.

Florida Republicans Combine Age Verification, Social Media Ban Bills

Republican state legislators in Florida have incorporated a copycat age verification bill, introduced by a pastor and based on other laws championed by religious conservatives across the country, into a larger bill that aims to prevent anyone under 16 from using certain social media platforms.

UK Media Regulator Encourages Companies, Creators to Provide Feedback on New Rules for Adult Content

U.K media regulator Ofcom is encouraging all members of the adult industry, including companies, creators and other stakeholders, to provide feedback to help it establish new regulations under the recent Online Safety Act — regulations that will impact the accessibility of online adult content.

Critics Lambast Revised Version of Controversial KOSA Bill

The main U.S. Senate sponsors of the controversial Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) have released a new version of the bill, which they claim addresses privacy and censorship issues flagged by opponents, but critics insist the revised version still presents insurmountable problems.

Woodhull Freedom Foundation Urges Florida Senators to Reject 'Unconstitutional' Age Verification Bill

Woodhull Freedom Foundation reached out to every member of the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, urging them to reject the state’s proposed age verification bill HB 3 as “not only unconstitutional and a danger to consumer privacy, but ineffective at preventing minors from accessing adult content.”

Aylo Awarded $2.1M in Copyright Infringement Case

A U.S. district judge in California has awarded Aylo Premium $2,157,000 in a copyright infringement case against three people named as operators of a website that hosted full, streamable versions of the company’s content.

German Government Now Exporting Anti-Porn Surveillance Tool

A crusading official who has been waging a one-man War on Porn in Germany, and who developed an AI tool that scans online content to identify images not compliant with the law, has now exported that technology for use by a Belgian media watchdog agency.

FSC Posts Update on Age Verification Actions

The Free Speech Coalition has published a blog post highlighting the organization's recent actions to educate legislators about age verification for viewers of adult content.

Show More