Iran Sentences German Citizen to Death to Intimidate Iranian Diaspora, German Government
Jamshid Sharmahd Was Abducted by Islamic Republic Agents, Tortured and Denied Due Process
February 21, 2023 – The death sentence against Iranian-born German citizen Jamshid Sharmahd is a blatant act of public intimidation by the Islamic Republic, aimed at silencing criticism of its repressive policies among the diaspora and the broader international community, said the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“Sharmahd has been sentenced to death because the Islamic Republic is trying to terrorize Iranians in the diaspora and force the German government into muting its criticism,” said CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi.
“Like countless times in the past, this cruel and lawless government is threatening to kill a man without any semblance of due process, in order to muzzle international condemnation of its violent repression,” said Ghaemi.
Sharmahd, a U.S. resident, was kidnapped by agents of the Islamic Republic in 2020 while he was passing through Dubai, according to his family. The Islamic Republic has accused him of being the leader of Tondar, the militant wing of the opposition group known as the Kingdom Assembly of Iran.
His family has insisted that Sharmahd was merely the spokesman of the group and ran its website. He had previously been targeted in an apparent Iranian assassination plot on U.S. soil in 2009, according to the AP.
After he was forcibly taken to Iran, Sharmahd was forced to make false “confessions” under physical and psychological torture while being held in solitary confinement, according to his daughter, Gazelle Sharmahd, who lives in California where her father was previously based. This is a routine practice the Islamic Republic uses against its critics.
There are also concerns that Sharmahd, 67, is not receiving proper medical care; he suffers from Parkinson’s disease along with other serious health conditions that require medication.
Sharmahd was denied access to counsel of his choice during his kangaroo trial, during which time he was denied every due process, including the ability to prepare a proper defense against the claims against him.
Iranian authorities have also kept him in solitary confinement and severely limited his phone contacts with his family.
Sharmahd is one of several Iranian dissidents that have been abducted by Iranian agents and brought back to Iran in recent years.
His case closely echoes that of the France-based dissident Ruhollah Zam, who was abducted by Iranian agents in Iraq in 2019 and executed in December 2020 after a sham trial.
Habib Chaab, an Iranian-Swedish dual national, was abducted from Turkey in 2020 and is currently detained in Iran, where he is also at risk of execution.
In an unrelated case, ethnic Arab political prisoner Hassan Abyat, 44, was executed today in Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province. He was arrested along with five others in January 2012 in the city of Hamidiyeh and charged with membership in an opposition group.
“The Islamic Republic is resorting to its preferred tool in a desperate attempt to silence Iranians and world leaders: violence,” said Ghaemi. “The international community must stand united and not be cowed by this lawless regime or many more Iranians will be executed on the mantle of the Islamic Republic.”
Read this article in Persian