“IRGC mounts pressure on Saeed Malekpour and his family”
Toronto, Canada | On Sunday the Iranian regime’s media mouthpieces reported on the Supreme Court of Iran’s decision to uphold Saeed Malekpour’s execution sentence- two weeks after the Canadian resident’s lawyers had already informed his sister of the horrific news and major newspapers, websites, and human rights organizations had reported on it. The international community’s urgent response to Saeed’s devastating situation resulted in the release of some statements of protest by world government officials and departments including Britain’s and Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministers, Canadian Liberal party member Irwin Cotler, and the U.S. Department of State.
Last year, after Judge Moghiseh issued Saeed Malekpour’s initial death sentence for internet-related charges, the Supreme Court judges reached the decision that the Canadian resident’s case file contained a list of discrepancies that Moghiseh needed to review and investigate before issuing a new sentence. In a desperate move to finalize Saeed’s death, Moghiseh reinstated the execution sentence in November 2011 during a trial that lasted only several minutes. Moghiseh, who is notorious for his corrupt behaviour, failed to acknowledge the discrepancies in the case file or launch an investigation.
About two weeks ago, the head Judge of the Supreme Court branch where Saeed’s case file was re-sent, had notified Saeed’s lawyer on the phone that the Supreme Court was somehow able to approve Saeed’s death sentence under the charge of “Corruption on Earth”- even with the discrepancies existing in the case file. The head Judge and his colleague reportedly refused to vote on Saeed’s execution sentence and were unable to confirm the identify of the three judges who had voted affirmatively. Saeed’s lawyers described the Supreme Court’s voting process as “highly suspicious and illegal.” Analysts and Saeed’s family and friends believe that, following the Canadian resident’s arrest, his life has been entirely orchestrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Nobody affiliated to Saeed’s defense case has been able to view Saeed’s case file in its entirety, thus it is unclear how the Iranian Judiciary was able to justify issuing Saeed a death sentence in the first place. “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,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Last week Saeed had contacted his sister from prison and informed her that IRGC interrogators attempted to extract more false confessions from him and threatened to “do whatever they want” to his sister if she continued to speak up about her brother’s dire situation. Saeed had refused to cooperate with them.
In 2008, IRGC agents were able to extract more than 30 hours of false confessions from Saeed after they had severely tortured him. The false confessions were repeatedly aired on the Iranian regime’s official state-run media two years before Saeed was issued a sentence or received a trial. “Airing the confessions and implying Saeed’s guilt prior to a trial is considered illegal, according to Iranian and international laws,” said Toronto-based human rights activist Maryam Nayeb Yazdi.
Starting last week, human rights activists, with the help of Amnesty International, launched a street campaign calling on people in different cities around the world to organize rallies to protest Saeed’s death sentence (interested participants should email: FreeSaeedMalekpourNow@gmail.com). The first protest was held last week in Montrealfollowed by this Saturday in Toronto’s Dundas Square. A protest is also being planned in Ottawa for next week. Future protest dates in other cities will be announced shortly. The rallies aim to shed light on the Iranian Judiciary’s lack of due process in issuing and upholding Saeed’s death sentence.
Joining in on the fight to save Saeed’s life, two internationally recognized Iranian women activists also raised their voices against injustice. Iranian human rights lawyer and former political prisoner Shadi Sadr recently said:
“The reality is that the only evidence presented to issue the death sentence was the confessions IRGC agents were able to extract from Saeed Malekpour under extreme torture…It is completely apparent that the IRGC has exercised all its extrajudicial powers to interfere and force the Supreme Court to uphold Saeed’s death sentence, even when the Supreme Court had previously stated that the case file contained discrepancies. Saeed Malekpour can be hanged any day.”
Marina Nemat, an Iranian-Canadian author and former teenage prisoner in Evin said:
“Since 1981, thousands of Iranians have been arbitrarily detained, tortured, and even executed. I was tortured in Evin prison in Tehran…Saeed Malekpour is one of the victims of the Iranian regime.”
“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,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s interim Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
For more information on the latest developments in Saeed Malekpour’s case, please visit the Free Saeed Malekpour Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Free.Saeed.Malekpour