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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  (Source: BWOG)
Canadian government is upset by "unfair" treatment of its resident

Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian citizen residing in Canada, was given a rather stark reminder of the drastic differences between his home nation and his current working residence when he was arrested on a family visit.  

It turns out Mr. Malekpour had created an app for a client, which was later used to post pornographic images online, a serious violation of Islamic law.  Somehow Iranian authorities caught wind of this and the nation's Revolutionary Guard -- the nation's Islamist military/police organization -- arrested Mr. Malekpour when he was visiting relatives in 2008.

In 2010, he finally was tried before the nation's Revolutionary Court, a federal Islamist court.  He was forbidden to defend himself.  The court found him guilty and he was sentenced to death, in a decision harshly criticized by human rights advocates and Canada who complained that its former resident "failed to receive fair and transparent legal treatment."

Amidst the sweeping internet revolution that has occurred in recent years, the Revolutionary Court has made a special point of widely advertising cases like Mr. Malekpour's to "warn" citizens not to disobey the nation's strict Islamic law online.

Saeed Malekpour
Saeed Malekpour, visiting Niagara Falls, prior to his arrest. [Image Source: The Toronto Star]

But the accused has been spared of the most severe penalty -- death -- after making a plea where he "repented" for his actions.  The decision to suspend the death sentence was announced on Eid al-Fitr, the day at the end of Ramadan where people of Muslim faith commit to charity and peacemaking.  The holiday is known as a day on which Iran sometimes pardons prisoners.

Mr. Malekpour's lawyer announced the pardon on Iran's Mehr news agency, commenting, "After the sentence was confirmed my client repented for his actions. With this repentance, the death sentence has been suspended."

But the Revolutionary Court, according to Reuters, has not officially announced the suspension.  And even if it is, such decisions have been reversed in the past says The Toronto Star.  It points the case of Hamid Ghassemi-Shal, a Toronto shoe salesman who was accused of being a spy and sentenced to death.  Mr. Ghassemi-Shal was similarly reported to be spared, but his family was recently informed that the death sentence had been reinstated.  It is unknown if he has been executed, but in April 2012 his sister was told the execution was "imminent".

The stories serve as a grim reminder that while Iran has advanced remarkably in terms of industry and technology, it remains very much entrenched in archaic and punitive legal traditions.

Sources: Reuters [on the NYTimes], Toronto Star

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Somehow Iranian authorities caught wind of this ...
By Hakuryu on 12/3/2012 12:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
While they were surfing for porn, they found out about this guy's app, then being the good muslim leaders they are, decide to prosecute this man.

It's a win/win. They look good and devout, and there is so much porn out there, that shutting down one guy will never interrupt their own, authority-given, right to view porn.

By InsGadget on 12/3/2012 12:38:37 PM , Rating: 1
Getting really fucking sick of backwards people on this planet.

By JasonMick on 12/3/2012 12:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Getting really fucking sick of backwards people on this planet.

When you say it's "god's will" or "god's work" to kill a whole lot of people, you have to ask yourself who this god of yours really is... That goes for anyone, no matter what religion you are.

I'm an optimist in that I believe that in the very long run (100s of years) things will eventually get better worldwide.

As Abraham Lincoln famously said (and Bob Marley later lyricized), "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. "

By Jeffk464 on 12/3/2012 4:39:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm an optimist in that I believe that in the very long run (100s of years) things will eventually get better worldwide.

I'm a pessimist and I say your nuts. I've been seeing things get a lot worse for people in the western world over my lifetime. Sure, things are improving for families in China, but that doesn't help out the average american family much.

By ppardee on 12/3/2012 6:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a pessimist, and I hate to throw off the doom and gloom on this one, but things are getting better... It would take something VERY big to stop progress...

There WILL be areas that degrade, but things will be better overall. Islamic fundamentalism went away for a while after the initial founding of the religion, and Muslims for the most part were peaceful for a long time. They will eventually go back to being that way.

We saw the same thing with Christianity during the crusades and the inquisition. These days, extremist Christians are the fringe.

Iran's current government is very very young as far as governments go. We decided to go nation building and f'ed up. This government will topple and a better one will take its place, eventually. It might happen sooner if we decide to man up and take responsibility for our actions instead of pushing the blame off on the monster we created.

And as far as China goes, they're GOING to have the majority of manufacturing jobs...they have literally a BILLION more people than we do. When jobs move over seas, the price of American goods drops giving the majority of Americans more buying power. This means that Americans can buy more products/services for the same income, which makes room for new domestic products/services in the market. And the money doesn't stay in China. It makes a stop and moves around, eventually coming back to the US. Improving the lives of the average family in China improves the entire world... you have to look at the whole picture.

The problem with China is two-fold. We are borrowing a MFT of money from them, and they have an artificially devalued currency, but that doesn't mean that we should begrudge them jobs... we shouldn't say "Your government isn't worth a pile of bantha droppings so you should live in huts with dirt floors and no clean water or electricity so that we can have our iPhones made by Americans at 3x the cost." (See, that's funny because it's Star Wars reference and because bantha droppings aren't real... so they aren't worth as much as something that doesn't exist... It's a joke, son.)

By Jeffk464 on 12/4/2012 12:10:40 AM , Rating: 2
I still think the 80's and 90's will be seen as a golden age for the US. No real wars, the US at peak global power, great job market and wealth to go around. It was basically all sunshine and roses.

By Jeffk464 on 12/4/2012 12:13:22 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention climate change, shrinking resources, and exponentially increasing population on an already crowded planet.

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