Little did I know people and news organizations around the world were including these images in their articles, blogs, tweets etc and attributing me, and sometimes printing my full name as the original photographer.
If you do a google search of my full name, you still come up with results like that (luckily not in the first page). I've tried unsuccessfully to get them removed.
Seeing what is happening to Malekpour, I don't think it's safe to go back. Not anytime soon
Being a Canadian citizen might bring more international attention.. but when you're born in Iran, have Social Security number and are required to travel to Iran with your Iranian Passport and not your Canadian passport.. they will do whatever they want.
Hopefully Iran doesn't execute people for being in Canada. Although Saeed's case is so nonsensical that it almost seems that way.
I just wish there was something we could do for this guy - I hate knowing what I know about it and also being completely powerless to influence the outcome of this in any way at all.
Write your representatives and tell them how you feel and that they should do something about it.
People might think "oh it could just turn into another Iraq." But, really, it can't. Not that pushing back isn't a bad idea. But, really, it can't. If anything happens, it'll be all bombs.
The future of Iran, and of Pakistan too, is crucially important to the future security or insecurity of the entire world. Who can say what future developments may bring?
Sure, who knows what can happen. But it would practically have to be a new world order, slanted towards that possibility. So that's not a good reason for keeping a lid on any talk of Iran being unjust or unfair, just out of fear that such talk now would somehow contribute some fraction of a fraction towards intervention in some unknown, completely removed event in the distant future.
It's not that we can't 'win' in an invasion style conflict with Iran - we can certainly flatten the entire country - but the cost would be far beyond anything the American public could stomach. The things we'd have to do to Iran in order to get them to capitulate would be beyond horrendous.
I don't believe we can actually afford the cost that would be involved. Unless Ben Bernanke is willing to monetize $3 trillion to fund it over the next few years. Maybe they're willing to do that and are that stupid, I'd just like to think not.
Bombs, no-fly zones, naval skirmishes - that's all we're going to see. Unless our leaders are really really really stupid.
In any case, if you believe it's wrong you should speak out against it, no matter the consequences. Staying silent only allows the abuses to continue.
We're constantly sabre-rattling about nukes (or doing more than rattling if you believe we're in cahoots with (most likely) the Israeli government ordering the killing of Iran's nuclear scientists (imagine if Germany/Japan had Feynman, Oppenheimer, Fermi, Bohm, and Bohr killed)). We threaten sanctions or bombing their nuclear facilities, Iran threatens right back with all-out war (only if we do certain sanctions or bomb them first).
So condemning them over this relatively minor action all things considered, just adds to the total amount of anti-Iran propaganda already out there (some of it warranted, most of it not), if it keeps growing then eventually it will be enough that the American Public demands war. I agree that regardless of what politicians chest-beat about they would have to be really really stupid to actually do it, but I wouldn't put it past this administration and this congress let alone with who might be coming up in the next few election cycles.
Meanwhile Canada et al. are free to do as they wish since they're not in the position to actually start something with Iran, and their words are just words.
Like I said before. If you think what someone is doing is wrong, speak out against it, regardless of the consequences. Some principles are worth fighting and dying for, and one of them is protecting the lives of innocent people.
Meanwhile Canada et al. are free to do as they wish since they're not in the position to actually start something with Iran, and their words are just words.
I'm a US citizen, I speak out against these things as much as the next guy here (which isn't terribly much, I don't claim to be an activist). I have a lot of opinions I like to push for with varying strength, some very unpopular. One of them is that the US government shouldn't be speaking out and condemning Iran's decision to execute this guy. I'm not trying to shut anyone up personally (though I suppose by proxy I do want to shut Obama up personally (or anyone in the US gov. with a lot of clout) because it's so easy to uncharitably interpret his thoughts as official US stances); I am trying to dissuade an official condemnation from my country for reasons I've already mentioned. I didn't even mention a secondary consideration that the US does many of the same things and worse, albeit on a much smaller scale, and because of that one could argue it should condemn itself before condemning others. But that's also beside the point, and to me it's a weaker argument.
1. we should not ever attempt to defend people being abused until we erase all vestiges of abuse from our own country or at least 'condemn ourselves',
2. saying that it's bad that some country abuses its citizens is going to contribute in a small way to the potential for starting a war with a country who continuously flaunts its nuclear program in the face of every international body that opposes it and threatens our allies with total annihilation, so we shouldn't make them upset,
3. Canada's words are empty.
You seem to have an unrealistic view on our relations with Iran. You seem to think that us complaining about the unfair treatment of its' citizens will make them more likely to threaten war. This is not really the case. They could give a shit what we think of how they treat their citizens. What they do care about is our continued insistence that they not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. That and the pressure of the international community imposing sanctions on them makes them pissed off.
As you said, condemning them for this is a relatively minor thing. So minor that they will probably completely ignore it; it has no bearing on their nuclear operations or their arms deals or their not-so-secret terrorist war with Israel. The only way it will even pop up on their radar is when their international partners mention it as a concern, because we're concerned. Again, this does not inspire them to go to war, but it makes them realize they have to be more careful about how they abuse their citizens, which in effect does some good.
Finally, for the previous reasons Canada doesn't have to "start something" with Iran. Most conflicts between nations are not dealt with by their military, they are dealt with by sanctions. Our military leaders have stated time and again that it's the only practical thing we have to deal with them at the moment. Canada has resources and influence which may apply here.
Fortunately, there's a lot of room to really help out mideasterners — by getting our government off their backs and stop supporting their regimes.
And anyone in an ethical mood need look no further than their own country! The US jails far more of its own people than any other country. On Feb 20, you can participate in a nearby Occupy 4 Prisoners. (http://occupy4prisoners.org/actions/)
Maybe countries could do that too...? Hmm. And I'm pretty sure they don't have to be pure virgin countries in order to condemn unfairness.
Maybe the U.S. could do that too...? Hmm. Too bad there wasn't this same energy to stop the U.S. from executing Troy Davis, or murdering Al-Awlaki's 16 year old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen. Probably couldn't get that support in racist North America.
And try to make your mind up: does speaking out work too well, or not well enough?
You are exhibiting classic signs of "us vs. them" syndrome.
As for the meme that "America is the worst country!"-
Although I would love for us to shoulder less of the burden and withdraw, the nuclear fallout would circle the globe.
Instead, they try to control people's individual freedoms, suppress those who speak against them and who propose reforms, try to isolate themselves from the international community and restrict free trade, not allow the UN inspectors to see whether they're building nuclear plants or warheads, threaten other countries in the area and a lot of other stuff. It's going backwards.
It's true that there are some elements in the US and EU who'd like to set up the middle east as a source of cheap resources, but surely there is a better way to control that than isolationism and totaliarism?
On a side note, I'm pretty sure Mahmoud or any other government official wouldn't be arrested for watching porn, for example - that's the sort of inequality that people are fighting against for hundreds of years now...
> "A lot of things happened in the past, it's customary to let it stay in the past."
Except this behavior isn't really past. The U.S. is still eager to unilaterally overthrow the governments of other countries, for purely economic reasons no less. I'm sure you know which country I have in mind.
> "try to isolate themselves from the international community and restrict free trade"
Yeah, and United States of fuckin America don't cotton to no isolationism. That shit's a sure way to get on our bad side, especially if the "free trade" they're curtailing involves oil.
Note that refusing to participate in America's version of "free trade" is not illegal under any sort of law.
> "not allow the UN inspectors to see whether they're building nuclear plants or warheads"
They do allow inspections. A team of IAEA inspectors was there last month. The US just doesn't like to acknowledge this because we already have our fucking mind made up.
> "surely there is a better way to control that than isolationism and totaliarism?"
I'd love to hear your ideas.
More often than not, one hand is not talking to the other. They constantly leave each other out of the loop.
One department wants freedom in the middle east, the other prefers secular military dictatorships under the guise of stability. And so on and so forth.
One of the biggest myths about the US Govt. is that it acts with any form of cohesion internally. In reality, you might as well look at it more like a hundred micro states, all with budgets the size of a nation like Bulgaria (eg - $20 billion).
I've read Kinzer's book. I came away much less a fan of Winston Churchill than I was before. He was quite a tyrant when it came to preserving the empire.
Spread the word. We may not have time to save this man's life, but a growing public outcry may help save others like him. Let us not lose faith in the power of people to create change.
Having said that, there are still days when I sometimes wish I'd taken on the challenge.
Nonetheless, I don't think a special-forces op to rescue a Canadian resident is actually in the works. If diplomatic approaches fail, this guy is going to die for writing software and video games that are critical of Iranian government. I feel equally guilty because my country (and others) overthrew their democratic government in 1953, meaning the current batch of goons is partially our fault. It actually makes me physically sad.
EDIT: Corrected the incorrect date for the Mordad coup.
I think that was 1953.
Seriously, if the first, I would like to know. Unlike in Iran, I might be able to affect the outcome here.
Can I prove someone was secretly detained for voicing their opinion? No. It's a secret. This is like asking someone to prove they don't have something.
What I do know is, due process has been suspended in the U.S via ndaa, the patriot act, and soon to be enemy expatriation act. I do know americans have been detained in gitmo for owning a casio watch.
I have nothing against the U.S. I live here and enjoy the privileges the constitution affords me. But I feel it is important to be critical of our own government rather than saying 'hey, at least we're not IRAN'. That isn't a very high standard at all.
Really now? You'll have to pardon me for being skeptical of this. Americans have been detained in gitmo, absent any other evidence, for owning a particular model of watch?
Citation badly needed.
I'm afraid you are very foggy on the definition of "factual". Something isn't "factual" if there's no evidence to support it.
He didn't accept that, so now they're having him executed.
Death sentence for Iranian web programmer – http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3484674 (28 days ago)
Saeed Malekpour's sister has written an urgent appeal to the United Nations. She is hoping that the the United Nations may help her save Saeed's life.
You can help get Maryam's voice heard faster by emailing her letter to the following UN contacts:
Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for the Office of Human Rights
Fax: +41-22-917-9008 (Geneva) +1-212-963-4097 (NY)
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations
Fax: 212-963-7055 (You can send a fax for free online here), Tel: 1-212-963-7160, 61, 62
Additional emails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
To the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:
My name is Maryam Malekpour. I am Saeed Malekpour's sister. I am writing this urgent request to you on behalf of my family. We live in Tehran, Iran. My brother has been living with the threat of death in Evin prison since October 2008. We require your urgent help. When Saeed's lawyers visited the Revolutionary Court two days ago to follow up on his case file, they discovered that the file containing the death sentence ruling was no longer there, and it was not in the possession of the Supreme Court either. Saeed Malekpour’s lawyers were informed that this only meant that the case file was sent to the Circuit Court for Execution of Sentences.
One of Saeed’s lawyers said: ”If we [Saeed's lawyers] had a chance to review the case file, then we would have had a chance to prevent the execution of the sentence. By reviewing the case we could have pointed out that an expert has never been brought into the case for investigation. The case file was sent straight to the Circuit Court for Execution of Sentences." He continued: “Since Saeed Malekpour’s sentence is in the possession of the Circuit Court for Execution of Sentences, this means that they are capable of executing Saeed at any moment they wish.”
Saeed's case file was sent to the the execution of sentences office even though his lawyer's never reviewed the case file beforehand. Many illegal actions have been taken to condemn Saeed to death, including the fact that no expert has ever reviewed the case. Some other examples of illegal actions taken are: One of Saeed's charges is, "Corrupting the Earth", however no one, not even the lawyers have been able to review the charges in Saeed's case file. They want to execute Saeed but his case file still possesses discrepancies never investigated. The only evidence they have to condemn Saeed to death are hours of false confessions Saeed gave while under physical and psychological torture. I am aware that the United Nations already possesses a detailed record of Saeed's accounts of torture.
Saeed was living in Canada with his wife. They are Permanent Residents of that country. He came for a visit to Iran in October 2008 to visit his father, who died from a brain tumour shortly after Saeed's arrest.
We cannot believe Saeed was arrested in the first place let alone sentenced to death. We cannot believe that we have been forced to live a horrific nightmare every day for more than three years. Saeed can be illegally executed at any moment unless the international community defends his life. Saeed's lawyers have told our family that the only hope left is the international community. All legal channels within Iran have been exhausted.
We are desperate for your help!
Please help Saeed. We can provide you with any further information needed. If we all do our part, we can possibly save Saeed from execution.
He may not have committed the crime while in Iran, but the Iranian justice system (what an oxymoron!) may have a different opinion on jurisdiction for online crimes. Maybe it took a page out of U.S. Law.
“Canada condemns Iran’s reported decision to execute Mr. Malekpour. Sadly, his case is far from the only example of Iran’s utter disregard for human life. The regime in Tehran frequently ignores principles like due process for its citizens domestically, and international human rights obligations generally.”
Canadian governments condemns his execution, but nothing more.
The other country may want to prosecute him, they may not, they may want to protest, they may not. But the Canadian government is not bound by any treaty or agreement to send him back to the other country.
This case really angers me and it makes me feel quite powerless. As I Canadian I hope my government is still providing as much aid as they can to help him.
Specifically to this case, you would like to think Canada would do more then write a letter to the government of Iran if he had Canadian citizenship, but I do really doubt they would do more than 'tense negotiations.'
Someone visiting the country on a valid visa and facing execution because of their positive contributions to society in their home country is a whole other issue. I'm guessing that Iran, in that case, would have a lot less precedent to stand on, so they might not play the same political games.
The Iranian regime doesn't care about world sentiment or about the Iranian people. They care about holding on to power and furthering their narrow ideological beliefs.
https://www.gopetition.com/petition/40162.html [includes unecrypted assets]
I disagree. Bashar al-Asad has killed 8300 Syrian in the past 11 months, and now the country is on the verge of civil war. Some crimes deserve death penalty (though, obviously writing an open-source app does not qualify!).
It's clear that fear of punishment does not deter crimes; otherwise death penalty states would have no murders.
I suppose what makes the death penalty different is that you can't fix injustice after the fact. Once it's carried out, it doesn't matter whether the verdict is overturned.
Evil being the keyword.
Although there may legitimately be a need to help this person, the story definitely serves the purpose of those that wish to motivate the long-planned war with Iran.
Iran became a dictatorship because that was the way the US wanted it.
Nothing that Iran does to any web programmer justifies an invasion, bombing, or World War III. People don't realize that's what's at stake here. That is what these stories are about.
Look at a map. Look at where Iran is compared to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. This isn't about a web programmer.
I strongly disapprove of censorship, particularly censorship of the "death" kind. But he should perhaps have been a little bit more discerning about his travel plans. This anti-porn thing is not new or unexpected. What did he think would happen?
Next time you break the law and you get fined for it, I truly hope you will not complain because I'll teleport right next to you and say "what did you think would happen?".
And we'll have a good laugh about it, because you will not die.
In October 2008, Malekpour visited his dying father in Iran.
And he didn't create porn websites; he created photo-uploading softwares that were (later, and he says without his knowledge) used in porn sites.
Anyway, I think Malekpour should not have worked on those things, even for moral reasons. You cannot reason with a snake. For the same reason I do not write stuff about Mexican drug cartels. I have family there, and I want them to remain alive (and in one piece), and I would like to remain able to visit without looking over my shoulder and endangering my family. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google for "mexican blogger deaths".
"Pick your fights" really applies to dealing with criminals and governments such as Iran's.
Because it's patently false!! He did not create porn sites, he created a piece of software which was later used by porn sites. Huge difference.
It would be akin to a kitchen knife manufacturer being charged for murder because someone was used their knives in a stabbing.
Nothing wrong with shooting the messenger who's saying things that are completely untrue.
>Malekpour created porn websites.
Completely and totally false.