Three Canadians Behind Bars in Iran (updated February 11, 2013):

On February 7, 2012 I spoke up for three Canadians in Evin Prison: Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, Hossein Derakhshan, and Saeed Malekpour.

I said in part of my speech: “Like so many other innocent victims of the Iranian regime, these men have been subjected to beatings, physical and psychological torture and the denial of medical treatment in jail. They have been denied the right to a free and fair trial, and their lives are in grave danger.”

Name: Saeed Malekpour, Permanent Resident of Canada

Location of Imprisonment: Evin, ward 2A (controlled by the IRGC)

Current Judicial Sentence: Death

Main Charges: “Moharebeh (waging war against God)” and “Insulting and desecrating Islam”.

Status Update (February 2013):  Early December 2012, one of Saeed Malekpour’s attorneys announced Iranian authorities had suspended the death sentence. However, no official documentation has been issued to Mr. Malekpour or his family to confirm the suspension.  The family reportedly welcomed the news with “cautious optimism”.  No new trial date has been set for Mr. Malekpour and Iranian authorities have not released any remarks on the death sentence suspension or the case.

Name: Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, Permanent Resident of Canada

Location of Imprisonment: Evin, ward 350

Current Judicial Sentence: Death

Main charges: “Moharebeh (waging war against God) and “Espionage”.

Status Update (February 2013): Rumours surfaced last year that Iranian authorities had suspended Hamid Ghassemi-Shall’s death sentence and changed it to life in prison. Antonella Mega, Mr. Ghassemi-Shall’s spouse who lives in Canada says the status of the case is unknown because no official document has been presented to Mr. Ghassemi-Shall or his family to confirm the death sentence suspension. He is not allowed phone calls but is permitted occasional visits from some family members.

Name: Hossein Derakhshan, Canadian Citizen

Location of Imprisonment: Evin

Current Judicial Sentence: 19.5 years in prison

Main Charges: “Cooperation with hostile states”, “Insulting sactities”, and “Implementation and management of obscene websites”.

Status Update (February 2013): Though Hossein Deskhshan is still held in Evin Prison, he is currently on furlough until February 18, 2013. Iranian human rights activists have said Mr. Derakhshan is held in Evin’s ward 2A (controlled by the IRGC).

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