back to article Iranian coder faces execution 'for building smut websites'

A programmer faces imminent execution in Iran after the country's supreme court upheld his conviction for "developing and promoting pornographic websites". Saeed Malekpour, 36, was convicted on the basis of a televised confession he later retracted in a letter sent from prison. His family argue Malekpour made the supposed …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really sucks to be a dual citizen and Iranian

    Iranian-Canadian reporter beaten to death in prison

    Iranian-US soldier in prison for spying

    Iranian-French actress banned from visiting Iran

    and now this guy.

    If I were an Iranian living and working in another country, I would make very sure that I never ever went home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      This man speaks it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Hell, as a non-Iranian Iran is on my list of "Never, ever visit".

      The missus has also added China to that list on my behalf as she feel's I'd be quite likely to open my mouth and get in some serious trouble.

      The list now contains a huge number of countries, I'm just hoping it won't grow as I see it as more of a reflection on those countries (i.e. how they handle dissent) than on my unerring ability to put my foot in my mouth

      1. theblackhand

        Re: Agreed

        Are you Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh? Can I claim my £5?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Afraid I'm not! Suspect the list may not be long enough for him either.

      2. Ru

        "Never, ever visit"

        I suspect you may miss out.

        Iran is on my list of countries to visit when there's a good chance of me coming back again. Syria, too. Its an amazing part of the world, and all we seem to get is a crazily distorted view of the people courtesy of their government.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Ru - And courtesy of our Western governemnts too.

          cause they are not quite white knights either.

        2. JC 2

          @ Never, ever visit

          If by amazing you mean, bunch of backwards arsed idiots with no spine to let this kind of "justice" prevail in the modern world, then yes I agree.

          I'm going to hell when I die anyway... no need to visit the middle east, send me a postcard.

          Hate to break it to you but no, this is not a distorted view, a place and its society is reflected by the rules and penalties that society lives under - their government. Any illusion of freedom is always mitigated by consequences like death.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

            @ Never, ever visit

            Someone once said: "a nation has the government it deserves" or something along those lines

            It's hard to prove it as either true or false, but the empirical experience, all over the world, seems to back it up...

          3. Mark 65

            @JC 2

            You are so clueless it isn't even funny. No spine? Coming from, in all probability, a cosseted little Westerner writing their dissenting little words of rebellion from the comfort of their home protected from the threat of torture and abduction by their Government that is pretty rich. Most nations ruled by dictators look backwards as it seems easier to keep control of a population by letting them have fuck all.

            "Hate to break it to you but no, this is not a distorted view, a place and its society is reflected by the rules and penalties that society lives under - their government."

            If so, are all Americans c*nts? No, of course not. Likewise, Iranians probably choose their moments to speak out knowing full well that such a society has unknown numbers of spies and whistleblowers living in their midst. I doubt I'd be too vocal if I knew one wrong word meant the torture of myself and/or my family, and I firmly suspect the same holds true for you.

            The Syrians don't seem to like their Government much but it doesn't seem to be working out too well for them does it?

      3. Tom 38

        Funny that. Iran is one of the top 5 countries I want to go to but haven't yet had the chance. Very interesting country, birthplace of civilization etc.

        1. ItsNotMe

          @Tom 38

          Well it may be the "birthplace of civilization etc."...but is is still stuck there.

          As General Curtis LeMay so nicely put it, someone should..."...bomb them back into the Stone Age."

          What's that? They're still living in the Stone Age? Never mind then.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "birthplace of civilization"

          Civilization was born there, but then it grew up and left to live somewhere else.

    3. IglooDude

      And the message is clear, from the Iranian government side: "Iranian people, see what happens when Iranians get exposed to Evil foreign influences?"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lucky he didnt

    Make a website for Dalziel as well

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear.

    If only he had coded it in such a way as to only allow decent pictures to be uploaded.

    He knew the law and he made his choice. He's probably lucky that the MPAA isn't trying to extradite him the the US for making software that could be used to infringe copyright.

    1. Ben Tasker

      Did you actually RTFA?

      "He knew the law and he made his choice"

      AFAIK there's no law against writing software to allow you to upload pictures. That someone used his code without him knowing on porn sites is hardly something he can be held liable for.

      Rat poison is often used in murder, should the manufacturers of that poision be up for life as well (which is still better than execution)?

      I'd say he'd be very lucky if the MPAA kicked down the door and extradited him tomorrow. They may be a bunch of cunts, but at least they won't execute him.

      1. David Perry 2

        Time for another invasionary mission by the US on those grounds?

        Or MIGHT they then show us their nuclear power?

        1. Crofty616

          RE:Time for another invasionary mission by the US on those grounds?

          You know at least this time if they did do somthing it would be for a better cause than oil...just sayin!

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon



            Yes, because Iran has no oil reserves to speak of, no-one could ever think of some other pretext to invade just to get it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Sir R S

              Of course Iran has oil reserves.

              1. Vic

                > Of course Iran has oil reserves.

                Not quite got the hang of irony yet, have you?


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "!I'd say he'd be very lucky if the MPAA kicked down the door and extradited him tomorrow. They may be a bunch of cunts, but at least they <b>can't</b> execute him."

        I wouldn't put it past some of them to be looking at Iran and thinking 'if only'.

      3. Jaybus

        Certainly not! How can they extort money out of the man if he was dead?

    2. Avalanche

      Re: Oh dear

      The guy lived in Canada, he was only in Iran to visit his sick father. Even then: is writing a tool to upload pictures, which is subsequently used by others to upload porn really a good reason to imprison let alone execute someone? (IMHO there is never a good reason to execute someone).

      Lets execute Vint Cerf for creating TCP/IP as it is used for transferring 'orrible things around the world (and not to forget: IP infringment), and lets not forget Tim Berners-Lee for creating that abomination called the World Wide Web! Put them to death for all atrocities other people committed with their inventions/products!

    3. Rimpel

      @ Oh dear

      Words fail me.

    4. Olafthemighty

      RE: Oh dear

      What scares me is not just the original post but that 2 people apparently agreed with it. What the fuckitting fuck? PLEASE tell me they didn't actually RTFA.

    5. Dr. Ellen


      If he got extradited to the US, that would be the luckiest thing that could happen to him.

    6. Richard 120


      Obvious troll is obvious.

    7. Daniel 4

      I could be wrong here, but...

      Really, I think thus is what happens when we stop A.C. from using the J/K icon.


  4. Anonymous Coward

    Evil Empires

    "The use of vaguely worded charges is not new in Iran, but the allegation that these were carried out on the internet is. It is an unwelcome addition to the catalogue of ways in which Iran finds it can execute its own citizens"

    Substitute "USA" for "Iran" and "imprison" for "execute" and "other countries" for "its own"

    Thank God the land of 'freee-daaam' and 'deee-maaa-cracy' would never behave thus!

    1. Oninoshiko
      Thumb Up

      "The use of vaguely worded charges is not new in USA, but the allegation that these where carried out on the internet is. It is an unwelcome addition to the catalog of ways in which USA finds it can imprison other countries citizens"

      wow... by replacing a few words you can make a coherent statement about Iran's attempt to execute someone for writing software someone used to make a porn-site into an incoherent attempt at an anti American mess.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'm personally totally against the death penalty, but there is a whole load of difference between:

      Execution for: Being raped, homosexuallity, changing religion etc. etc.


      Being tried and found guilty of murder.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MPAA? - the collective noun for a bunch of.. Oh never mind.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If all he did was write the software and didn't upload any of the smut then he's innocent!

    1. Crisp

      @AC 13:48

      But if he hadn't written that software, then there wouldn't be any smut on the internet!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ...but...

      according to one of the muslims in my office (who is surprised by the judgment), to his knowledge: the guy is innocent. The example he gave is: if someone stole a knife from your home and then used it to stab someone, are you liable for the stabbing?

      1. andreas koch

        @AC 1414h

        Not sure. In the book 'Midnight Express' there's an example of a guy* who was declared guilty in a traffic accident in Turkey. The other driver** was drunk and hit his car, which he had parked legally on the side of the road. Apparently it was decided on the basis that if his car had not been there in the first place, then the other driver, drunk or not, would not have had the accident. Must be some Sharia law thing. Go figure.

        *foreign, French or such, and Unbeliever.

        **local citizen of proper religious views.

    3. ZagZee
      Black Helicopters

      by that logic

      the the owners of Megaupload are innocent, because they themselves didnt actually upload copyrighted material. Yet the US can force New Zealand into arresting them and extradite them to face charges in the US.

      1. Paul 129


        Problem is the US appear to have copies of emails showing the Megaupload crowd possibly helping others trying to infringe copyright, but more directly talking about infringing copyright themselves as well as harvesting data from youtube.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "political pawn by hardliners ahead of March presidential elections in the country."

    a politician is trying to hang someone (an innocent man at that) to boost his* campaign..... if it works then there is more to worry about in Iran then this case!

    * I'll have to assume that it is not "her" campaign!

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: "a politician is trying to hang someone

      " (an innocent man at that) to boost his* campaign....."

      Still, at least nothing like that would happen in a civilised country like America...

      ... erm...

  8. Sally 4

    Poor sod, sign the petition - it might help

  9. Anonymous Coward

    "....supposed admissions of wrongdoing under duress; they say he had spent a year in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison, was beaten and was told of threats against his relatives."

    Oh, WOW what an enlightened, tolerant and eductated scoiety they live in!

    Their religious beliefs must be very pro life/human rights.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, after all... a truly enlightened, tolerant and eductated scoiety like, say, the USA they wouldn't do things like that, would they?

      Just remind me - how long did they keep Bradley Manning in solitary, how long have they kept people in Gitmo...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Raped then battered to death

        Mistreated manning may be, however he does not face a prolonged painful death at the hands of sadistic stone-throwers.

        Lovely Sharia!

      2. Franklin

        " a truly enlightened, tolerant and eductated scoiety like, say, the USA they wouldn't do things like that, would they?"

        I knew someone would say something along those lines. God bless the Reg forums; they never disappoint.

        No society is perfect. Every society without exception does grotesque things in the name of justice. I seem to recall it wasn't that long ago you guys on your side of the pond were apologizing for thanking Alan Turing for helping to win WWII by throwing him in prison for the crime of homosexuality, after which he was, if I recall correctly, hounded to death.

        Every society has an imperfect system of justice, no question about it.

        However, to score political points off the US or the UK or other countries by playing off a guy who's set to be *executed for writing file uploader software* strikes me as a bit crass. No society is perfect, but that doesn't mean all societies are therefore equal in the way they treat their citizens.

        Yes, the Bradley Manning thing is a shameful and inexcusable debacle, no question about it. There's that, and then there's *executing a guy for writing file uploader software*. I know which one my money says is worse, and given a choice between living in, say, the US or the UK, and living in Iran, I know which one I'd pick in a heartbeat.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    And they have the

    UTTER temerity to profess to being a civilised society...

    Barbarians....Nothing more.......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      I'm guessing

      the down vote was from a spanner whom would have your hands cut off for nicking a copy of "Tits" from Mr. McNobby's girly mag shop....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Still there are commentards trying to make it look like Iran is a nice place to live and that America is somehow worse.

    I really do find this place hard to understand sometimes.

    1. Yet Another Commentard


      Perhaps a way of looking at this would be to compare the number of people desperate to live in Iran, trying to sneak in hidden under trucks and whatever (and not for military purposes) compared to the number desperate to live in the US, trying to swim from Cuba, run across the desert from Mexico etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think the point is...

      ...that every time we lower OUR standards by (eg) weakening the integrity of our legal system or assuming that somebody must 'really' be guilty of something even though no independent court has reached such a verdict, we make it easier for governments like Iran's to use the form of a fair trial to serve their political ends. The difference between a trial like this and a lynching is that it pretends to have the legitimacy of a proper legal system. We need to preserve the reality of such a system, or we will end up making the same pretence.

      1. perlcat
        Black Helicopters

        @ AC 18:12

        re: "we make it easier for governments like Iran's to use the form of a fair trial to serve their political ends"

        I don't think they particularly give a damn what we think and whether or not it "enables" them to perform yet more miscarriages of justice. We' re the only the ones with that particular thought. They just want to make an example of some poor schmoe, and in a nation that has no concept of human life, they'll do whatever they damned well please.

        We need to seek justice for justice's sake -- not to impress some murderous totalitarian regime.

  12. John Savard

    What Is Wrong With Canada?

    We should have carried out regime change on Iran long ago and brought him home.

    1. perlcat
      Paris Hilton

      The answer's simple:

      "There is no surer road to destruction than prosperity without character"

      Calvin Coolidge, 1929

      PH, for a nice example.

  13. John H Woods Silver badge

    Sanctity ...

    ... not the word that comes to mind when we are talking about beating televised confessions out of people and then sentencing them to death on that basis.

    1. Graham Marsden

      "beating televised confessions out of people"

      No, the West prefers to do that in private in Guantanamo Bay or by shipping (sorry "Rendering") people off to countries who don't have problems with torturing suspects to extract confessions from them because we don't want to get our hands dirty...

  14. Dave 150

    Tim Berners-Lee best not go to Iran then

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phuck around and die

    That's all.

  16. ian 22


    Hitler tried to improve the world, as did Stalin. Pol Pot the same, as did Hirohito and Togo in Japan. The Serbs and the Yanks tried to improve the world. Now it's the Iranians.

    Is there a pattern here?

    1. perlcat


      [sarc]Love how you lump Yanks in with a list of ethnic cleansers.[/sarc]

      Somebody should take a step away from the hate, and get some perspective.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Iran / China

    Someone said they were afraid to visit China. I have lived there for almost a decade and it would be very very hard to put your foot in your mouth to that degree. Even if you wave a religious book around screaming at passers by every day, at the most you would be shoo'd gently out the country.

    Iran: I went there for a few weeks with my wife on a holiday. A lovely country to visit (especially the north east) - everyone inviting us into their homes, strangers inviting us out and refusing to let us pay for anything, a taxi driver refusing to allow us to pay because he loved to see foreigners visiting his city.. just non-stop generosity towards strangers. And we never felt in any danger. And young people freely expressed their hatred towards their government - you wouldn't hear that in some countries (some places you would be very afraid to express such views to others).

    The strict religious laws are another matter. Although let's not forget that the people themselves had a revolution to put those religious rulers in place. But most young people seemed to dislike the laws and want restrictions to relax.

    1. Vic

      > it would be very very hard to put your foot in your mouth to that degree

      My missus went to China a couple of years ago. She had a great time. And she's a Swansea lass who enjoys a wee tipple from time to time :-)

      > let's not forget that the people themselves had a revolution to put those religious rulers in place

      I'm not sure they did; I think they had a revolution to remove the previous ruler - who had been put in place originally in a British/Russian operation, and later returned to Iran in a US/UK-supported coup.

      Moving against one despot is not necessarily a vote of confidence in the alternative one, even if our pols would have us believe it so...


  18. John Tserkezis

    I shudder to think...

    ...what the penalty would be for distributing illegal music and video files?

  19. All names Taken

    A justice thing?

    Justice, now there's a word.

    Legality, uh-huh another word.

    Penalty, Conviction, ...

    It appears possible for one to have one's neck severed for what might be trivialised elsewhere.

    Yet good ol' UK will (like the other North Atlantic Nations?) pay finance people lots n lots of money before during and after fornicating these nations to bankruptcy.

    Strange ol' world innit?

  20. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    What shocks me most is

    that a story like this can be made up and nobody checks it with particular scepticism.

    Then again, maybe it is entirely authentic, but it's in Iran so I don't care.

    But, for instance, there is, or quite recently there was, at least one small non-governmental media production office in Washington dedicated to producing that sort of thing. Working for - well, guess if you like.

    I'm just saying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No loss either way

      So sorry but no losss either way.

  21. andy 45
    Thumb Up

    @Robert Carnegie

    You make a good point Robert.

    The US and all their war mongering friends have been sabre-rattling for years and in recent weeks have been really ramping things up. The US, Israel etc are all desparate for a war with Iran.

    This does seem to be very conveniently timed to sway the public just before things turn ugly...

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