Iran sentences Richmond Hill resident to death

Area representatives have taken up the cause of a Richmond Hill man who was recently sentenced to death in Iran for Internet-related offences.

Saeed Malekpour was imprisoned back in 2008 when he returned to Iran to visit his dying father. The web developer is being held responsible for a pornographic website because he created and sold the photo-downloading software used to help build it, which has his name on it.

Reza Moridi, the local MPP, said he got involved when Saeed Malekpour’s wife came to him with his story. He brought the case to his colleagues at Queen’s Park as well as to his federal counterpart.

Bryon Wilfert, Richmond Hill’s MP, is currently trying to secure Malekpour’s safe return to Canada. He has now twice met with Iran’s highest representative in Canada. He has also sent a letter to the minister of foreign affairs.

Wilfert said that the silence he’s received from the federal government on the matter has been frustrating and insulting. While Malekpour is a permanent resident, he doesn’t have Canadian citizenship.

“My ultimate hope and my ultimate request has been that he [Malekpour] be returned to Canada,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s a resident of the country.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon was unavailable to comment on the case.

“We continue to call on Iran to provide fair and due process for all its citizens, including Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Saeed Malekpour, as well as the many others in Iranian prisons for their religious, political or social beliefs,” he said in an earlier statement.

It’s not yet clear how long Malekpour has to appeal the sentence.

Article exclusive to TRNTO