Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour Returned to Prison without receiving treatment
Imprisoned Iranian-born Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour, who was hospitalized in a heart unit of Tehran’s Taleghani Hospital, was returned to Evin prison on Tuesday, without receiving adequate treatment.
Saeed Malekpour has been in imprisoned in Tehran since 2008, without a single day on furlough.
Malekpour, 43, was a computer programmer and web developer living as a permanent resident in Canada before he was arrested during a visit to Iran in 2008 and charged with “insulting the sacred” for allegedly creating an online pornographic network.
In September 2010, a Revolutionary Court sentenced him to death, but the sentence was ultimately commuted from death to life imprisonment in August 2013.
During his imprisonment he has been held in solitary confinment and he reports he was tortured into making a false confession.
It is alleged a web based program he developed was used to post pornographic images to the internet. Saeed Malekpour has denied all knowledge of the program being used for this purpose.
In a letter sent from prison in March 2010, Saeed Malekpour said his confession, which was later televised, was given under physical and psychological torture.
“A large portion of my confession was extracted under pressure, physical and psychological torture, threats to myself and my family, and false promises of immediate release upon giving a false confession to whatever the interrogators dictated,” he wrote.
Televising forced “confessions,” often extracted under the threat of or actual torture, is a common practice in Iran.
Prisoners’ access to health care is a right enshrined in both international and Iranian law.
Iran’s authorities however, callously toy with the lives of prisoners of conscience and other political prisoners by denying them adequate medical care, putting them at grave risk of death, permanent disability or other irreversible damage to their health, according to Amnesty International report.
“In Iran a prisoner’s health is routinely taken hostage by the authorities, who recklessly ignore the medical needs of those in custody. Denying medical care to political prisoners is cruel and utterly indefensible,” said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.