Feeds

Iranian coder faces execution 'for building smut websites'

Supreme court backs death penalty for photo upload tool

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A programmer faces imminent execution in Iran after the country's supreme court upheld his conviction for "developing and promoting pornographic websites".

Saeed Malekpour, 36, was convicted on the basis of a televised confession he later retracted in a letter sent from prison. His family argue Malekpour made the supposed admissions of wrongdoing under duress; they say he had spent a year in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison, was beaten and was told of threats against his relatives.

According to his supporters, Malekpour's only crime was to write photo uploading software that was later used by pornographic websites without his permission. Malekpour, who has permanent residence status in Canada, has been in prison since he was arrested in October 2008 during a visit to see his terminally ill father.

An international campaign bolstered by fresh testimony from experts led to a decision by Iran's supreme court to suspend Malekpour's death sentence and order a judicial review back in June 2011. But the review produced no effect and Malekpour's death sentence was subsequently reinstated.

Maryam Nayeb Yazdi, a human rights activist based in Toronto 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."

Amnesty International reckons Iran executed at least 600 people last year. It added that Malekpour is being used as a political pawn by hardliners ahead of March presidential elections in the country.

Drewery Dyke, of Amnesty International, commented: "Malekpour 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.

"In advance of March's parliamentary elections, when you would expect the right to exercise one's freedom of expression to increase, this case exemplifies 'innovative' ways as to how Iran is setting itself against access to online information."

More details on the harrowing case can be found on a Saeed Malekpour campaign website, established by the programmer's friends and family, here and the Persian2English human rights site here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.