By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Authorities in Iran have reportedly suspended the death sentence handed down to a computer programmer for allegedly operating an adult-content website, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency.
A defense lawyer was quoted as saying he hopes Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian-born programmer with permanent residency in Canada, will be given a reduced sentence.
Malekpour, 37, was arrested in December 2008 while in Iran to visit his ailing father.
In 2010, he was convicted of three counts of “designing and moderating adult-content websites” and “insulting the sanctity of Islam.”
Malekpour says a program he developed for posting photographs to the Internet was used without his knowledge to create porn sites.
In February, European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton called for Iran to rescind Malekpour’s death sentence.