Iranian Website Programmer's Death Sentence Overturned

Jun 6, 2011 1:15 PM PST

TEHRAN, Iran — Website programmer Saeed Malekpour is no longer facing execution after Iran’s supreme court overturned his death sentence.

Malekpour, an Iranian-born Canadian resident, was sentenced to death last December for allegedly running a porn site in Canada.  His family claimed that his photo-uploading software was used by porn sites without his knowledge.

His defense lawyers said the court quashed the death sentence after they presented expert evidence, according to the Guardian.com.

"This a sigh of relief for me, I'm very pleased that his life is finally saved,” his wife Fatima Eftekhari said.

"It's unbelievable that someone in this world has spent three years of his life in jail for merely designing software and was until now facing execution for that."

Malekpour worked as a freelance web designer in Canada and designed a software program for uploading photos onto websites. He was arrested in 2008 after arriving in Tehran to visit his sick father. He’s been in Tehran’s Evin Prison ever since.

His wife said that campaigns by various civil rights groups were instrumental in saving his life.

Malekpour will remain in jail while officials conduct a judicial review in his case.

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