On August 2, Maryam Malekpour was finally reunited with her brother Saeed in Vancouver after she had campaigned tirelessly for 11 years to free him from prison in Iran.
“The nightmare is finally over!” Maryam wrote on Twitter. “Together we prevailed.”
Maryam thanked “every single person who supported us throughout this time.”
Saeed, a permanent resident of Canada, was arrested in Iran in October 2008 while on a visit to his dying father.
Saeed was a web programmer and it was alleged that a program he developed was used to upload pornographic photos to the internet. Saeed had no knowledge of the program being used for that purpose.
After his arrest, Saeed was held in solitary confinement for more than a year. Ill-treated, tortured and denied medical care until he “confessed”, Saeed’s televised “confession” was the only evidence used against him.
Following an unfair trial, Saeed was sentenced to death. In 2012, his sentence was reduced to life imprisonment.
Amnesty activists threw their support behind Maryam’s campaign to free Saeed. They took part in public events to raise awareness of Saeed’s situation, and they wrote to their MPs and to Canada’s government asking them to not forget Saeed and to do everything in their power to secure Saeed’s release.
In 2012, when Saeed was facing imminent execution, Amnesty mobilized the Urgent Action Network to call on the Iranian authorities to not execute Saeed. Time and again, Amnesty supporters pressed the Iranian authorities to set him free.
Last week, after many years of intense campaigning, it was reported that Saeed was given a temporary release from prison, and it was during this time that he was able to return to Canada and be reunited with family and friends.
There are still many more human rights defenders imprisoned in Iran who need your support:
Nasrin Sotoudeh: human rights lawyers sentenced to 38 years in prison. Click here to take action for Nasrin>>
Narges Mohammadi: sentenced for 16 years for campaigning for gender equality. Click here to take action for Narges>>
Atena Daemi: facing 7 years for standing up for women’s rights. Click here to take action for Atena>>