AFP: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called Tuesday on Iran to halt the execution of an Iranian man with Canadian residency condemned to death on charges he operated a pornographic website. BRUSSELS (AFP)— EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called Tuesday on Iran to halt the execution of an Iranian man with Canadian residency condemned to death on charges he operated a pornographic website.
Ashton said in a statement she was “extremely saddened and concerned about reports that the execution of Iranian software designer Saeed Malekpour may be imminent.”
She said she had urged the Iranian government to review his sentence together with those of bloggers, Ahmadreza Hashempour and Vahid Asghari.
“Civil rights organizations have raised serious concerns over the fairness, transparency and the speed of the court proceedings.
“I repeat my call on Iran to review their sentences and I particularly call of Iran to halt the execution of Saeed Malekpour,” she added.
Malekpour, a 36-year-old computer programmer, was found guilty in December 2010 of “designing and moderating adult content websites,” “agitation against the regime,” and “insulting the sanctity of Islam,” according to his supporters.
The Canadian government and Amnesty International have called for Malekpour’s immediate release.
Malekpour’s supporters say he developed a programme that allows photographs to be posted to the Internet, which was used without his knowledge for the creation of porn sites.
A resident of Canada since 2004, Malekpour was arrested in Iran in 2008 while visiting his dying father.