Second Death Sentence for Programmer Compounds Iran’s Cruelty

TEHRAN—Iranian-born Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour and his family would be justified for feeling brutalized and betrayed by the Iranian government, considering last summer’s reversal of his death sentence by the same Iranian Supreme Court that Monday reaffirmed the same sentence for the same “crime,” which did not even happen in Iran.

The married 35-year-old engineer and programmer, who had lived in Canada as a permanent resident since 2004, was originally detained by Iranian authorities in 2008 after traveling back home to visit his father, who was ill. He was charged with helping design porn sites in Canada, and despite appeals from the Canadian government, his family and others that he was innocent of the charges, he was convicted and sentenced to death in December 2010. The Iranian Supreme Court commuted the sentence in June 2011, but this week it reversed itself.

One media outlet said the reversal may have taken place because of ”political pressure,” implying it's a sidebar to the Strait of Hormuz face-off, which is possible though of scant consolation to poor Malekpour, who has spent the last four years of his life in a byzantine hell of Iranian theocratic madness and now finds himself a political pawn in an equally perverse showdown, facing death after having already been spared. One can only wonder in what hellhole of logic such a conception of justice was hatched and wish upon its progenitors a fate made of the same.