News of Note: Iran confirms death sentence for ‘porn site’ web programmer
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 picked up by plainclothes officers in October 2008 and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, where he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without charge.
A year after his arrest, the 35-year-old appeared in a state television programme 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, which handed down death penalty.
Malekpour later retracted his confessions in a letter sent from prison, in which he said they had been made under duress.
According to Malekpour’s family, he is a permanent resident of Canada and is a programmer who wrote photo-uploading software that was used by a porn website without his knowledge.
Giving someone the death penalty is a big deal. Giving someone the death penalty for being related to a pornographic website is absurd. The fact that Saeed simply wrote image-uploading software and was not running or participating with actual pornography makes this incident absolutely insane.