Software developer imprisoned in Iran after developing open-source software is now free

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Saeed Malekpour, the open-source software developer, is back home in Canada after facing ten years of imprisonment in Iran.

The story of Saeed Malekpour broke hearts of many sympathizers from all over the world. A smart programmer and a loyal son, he was imprisoned in 2008 after arriving in Iran from Canada where he studied coding and worked as a freelancer. During that period, he wrote a piece of software used by some companies to upload videos.

Saeed was kidnapped by a group of unknown individuals who claimed to be representatives of “Revolutionary Guards Cyber Counterattack”. They told him that his software was used to upload and share porn on the internet and that, as the developer, it was his fault. He was accused of all sorts of crimes including crimes against the regime in Iran, offending the supreme leader, and even blasphemy.

Endless hours of torture broke the will of the young man and forced him to confess to all of the accusations. His confession was recorded on video and later was broadcast to the whole country on National television. The stress of the event was reported to give his mother a heart attack.

During that period, a global petition was organized by Saeed’s sister who kept fighting for her brother.

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At multiple points in time from 2008 to 2019, Saeed Malekpour was sentenced to death. Once, he even received an opportunity to appeal, but the judge was the same one who sentenced him to death before that and so it went nowhere.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei finally changed the sentence to a lifetime in prison in 2014 under pressure from the international community.

However, the fight for Saeed’s freedom and life was not over.

The Canadian government lobbied heavily for its citizen alongside millions of sympathizers in North America, Europe, and even Iran. It seems that even one of the scariest totalitarian regimes in the world has to step back if a consolidated effort is used against it. The 10-year nightmare suffered by Saeed Malekpour is finally over.

In a recent tweet, his sister shared a short 8-second video in which Saeed is walking to the exit of the airport. He is finally back home and can start forgetting the tortures and pain that he experienced during his long imprisonment.

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Igor Tyan

Igor Tyan is an online culture writer for Reclaim The Net. His main topics revolve around the growing devisions in today's internet culture and censorship that takes place on online platforms. He keeps an eye on the zeitgeist at all times. [email protected]