According to Saeed Malekpours’ lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabai, Saeed Malekpours’ death sentence has been suspended. Mr. Malekpour was a Canadian resident who was arrested in 2008 when he traveled to Iran to visit his sick father. He was “convicted” of charges of creating a network of pornographic websites and sentenced to death.

It is important to note that Mr. Malekpours family has not yet received any written confirmation as to the suspension of the death sentence. Iran has been known to “suspend” death sentences and then reinstate them, as in the case of another Iranian Canadian Hamid Ghasemi Shall who also awaits execution in Iran.

The suspension of Mr. Malekpour’s death sentence ( if true and permanent) may very well be an attempt by the Islamic Regime to gain brownie points from the Canadian Government and this news must be treated with great caution.

While Mr. Malekpour may have escaped from execution, it is crucial to keep in mind that hundreds (if not more) political prisoners in Iran still face execution including a Canadian citizen Mr. Hamid Ghasemi Shall.

The Islamic Regime in Iran is a brutal dictatorship that has stayed in power through arrests, torture, rape and execution of anyone that dares to stand up against it and even non-political individuals such as Mr. Malekpour. The international community and in particular Canada must continue its hard stand against the Regime including political isolation and tough sanctions, and to condemn the brutal systematic human rights violations in Iran.

The suspension of Mr. Malekpours’ death sentence is news worth celebrating, it is important to keep in mind that this is very likely an attempt by the Regime to decrease some of the pressure that has been put on it by the Canadian Government. It is not enough for the death sentence of one prisoner to be “suspended,” unless and until the Islamic Regime is overthrown innocent Iranians will continue to be subjected to arrest, torture, rape and execution.

While we celebrate this recent news, we must continue the fight for the overthrow of the Islamic Regime and ask the Canadian Government to continue to politically isolate the Regime and show its support for the pro-democracy movement in Iran which seeks to overthrow the Islamic Regime.

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activist.

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