Iran Sentences 2 People to Death Over Porn Sites

Jan 31, 2011 2:00 PM PST
TEHRAN — Iranian courts have sentenced two people to death for running porn sites.

"Two administrators of porn sites have been sentenced to death in two different [court] branches and [the verdicts] have been sent to the supreme court for confirmation," prosecutor general Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said.

Last December, Iran-born Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour received a death sentence for allegedly designing a porn website.

Malekpour, who was detained in Iran after returning in 2008 to visit his ailing father, was convicted of "designing and moderating adult content websites," "agitation against the regime" in Tehran, and "insulting the sanctity of Islam," according to an online campaign calling for his release.

Malekpour worked as a freelance web designer in Canada and designed a software program for uploading photos onto websites, which the Campaign for Release of Saeed Malekpour said was used, unbeknownst to him, for the creation of a porn website.

His wife said Malekpour's online profile was used to create the site without his permission.

In 2009, he admitted to running the site, which has since been taken down.

Canadian officials expressed concern over the “continued flagrant disregard of the Iranian authorities for the rights of Iranians” and have urged the Iranian government to “respect its domestic and international obligations and ensure fairness and due process for all its citizens and others."

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