BBC and ICHRI: Fifty one former cellmates of Saeed Malekpour, a prisoner on death row, stated in a letter that charges leveled against Malekpour "do not fit his character," and that "his confessions were extracted under torture," according to BBC Persian website.
The statement's signatories are all former inmates at Evin Prison.
Saeed Malekpour has been charged with "propagating against the Islamic Republic of Iran," "insulting sanctities," "insulting the Supreme leader," and "corruption-on-earth."
"Saeed has told us over and over again that his confessions were made under torture, psychological and mental pressure, and long solitary confinement periods, and he still bears signs of physical torture on his body," the letter continued.
Security forces arrested Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour, 36, an internet software developer, when he returned to Iran in 2008 to visit his ailing father. He appeared on Iranian state TV in 2009 and confessed to charges raised against him. In October 2010 he was sentenced to death on charges of “insulting Islamic sanctities,” for alleged “management of pornographic websites.” The Supreme Court overturned the sentence in November 2011 and forwarded his case to the Revolutionary Court for deficiencies in investigations and insufficient evidence. Even so, the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence on 30 January 2012.
Saeed Malekpour's sister, Maryam Malekpour, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in early February 2012 that her brother was put under pressure recently to make television confessions against himself. “[Security forces] have even threatened him that they would arrest me,” his sister said. “They told him, ‘Say you’re remorseful on TV, and we will help you.’”
Since the death sentence was upheld on 30 January 2012, “[Saeed] has been pressured to make confessions before a television camera, which he has fortunately not accepted,” Maryam Malekpour told the Campaign.
Maryam Malekpour continued, “The fact that they have been putting him under pressure for a television interview over the past two weeks shows that they have no evidence other than his confessions for justifying his death sentence. They want to justify their legitimacy this way. Saeed is innocent. He was a gifted student at Sharif University; his [entrance exam] ranking was 23rd in the College of Material Science Engineering. They want to sacrifice Saeed and others like him for proving a point that is unknown to me. I don’t know what to say; I don’t understand it. Saeed is a victim of a political game.”
Maryam Nayeb Yazdi is interviewed about Saeed Malekpour on CTV:
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