Canadian Awaits Death Penalty in Iran Since 2008

While visiting his mother in Iran in May 2008, Canadian citizen Hamid Ghassemi disappeared. Later it was discovered that Hamid and his brother, Alborz Ghassemi, had both been arrested. They were charged with espionage, allegedly due to an email exchange, and were sentenced to death. Alborz died in custody under suspicious circumstances. Hamid remains in prison under the threat of execution with no legal defense. Antonella Mega, Hamid’s wife in Toronto, has been campaigning for his return.

The online campaign to free Hamid is at Antonella has a moving blog there, but the most current online activity is on a Facebook page called Hamid Ghassemi-Shall Traveling Scrapbook. On October 12, Hamid's supporters in Canada posted happy birthday messages. In September, Canada cut all diplomatic ties with Iran, dashing hopes that the Canadian government could intervene.

Hamid's neighbours in Toronto have also made an online video to help draw attention to his cause

Please Watch from Visuav on Vimeo.

A student named Hailey Benedict created this video to support him.

On November 30, over 1,200 cities around the world participating in “Cities for Life” will be taking a stand against the death penalty. Activists of Amnesty International in Toronto have chosen to mark the occasion by inviting Antonella Mega to speak at their event on the day.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.