Saeed Malekpour

Iran’s Supreme Court has approved the death sentence for Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian web developer who has been jailed in Iran since 2008.

Iranian authorities accuse Malekpour of launching “obscene websites.”

IRNA reports: “Saeed Malekpour in Canada, with the support of an American company, began the development of an obscene website in Persian, and in 2008, after returning to Iran from Canada, he was identified and arrested.”

He was sentenced to death based on the charge of “spreading corruption on the earth.”

Farideh Eftekhari, Malekpour’s wife, has told the media that her husband had merely developed photo-uploading software that was used by a pornographic website without his knowledge.

She told The Guardian: “Even if my husband’s charges were true, which they are not, it’s hard to imagine why he should be sentenced to death. I think Iran is trying to intimidate the opposition or any sign of protest by sentencing an unprecedented number of prisoners to death.”

Malekpour was shown on Iranian state TV a year after his arrest, making confessions which he has since retracted, insisting that he had been under duress.