In Iran, the German-Iranian Jamshid Sharmahd has been sentenced to death in a controversial trial. A revolutionary court in Tehran holds the 67-year-old responsible for a terrorist attack, among other things, as the justice portal Misan announced on Tuesday. The judgment can be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Sharmahd openly criticized the Iranian regime and was abducted to Iran from a hotel in Dubai in July 2020. Since then he has been held in solitary confinement at an unknown location. In February last year he came before the notorious Revolutionary Court 15 in Tehran. The accusation: "Corruption on earth".
Sharmahd previously lived in the United States for years. His family and human rights groups have previously denied allegations against him. In the United States, Sharmahd was active in the exile opposition group Tondar (Thunder), which advocates a return to the monarchy. Iran's regime holds the organization responsible for an attack in a mosque in the city of Shiras in 2008 that killed several people. Three men have already been executed for it.
As an engineer and IT expert, Sharmahd also took part in a radio program run by the exile group. In 2019, the group's website, which has since been deleted but can be accessed in archive form, stated that the radio show broadcasts content on politics and history, but also instructions on how to resist. Tondar denounced the persecution of its members by the Islamic Republic.
It is unclear whether Sharmahd can receive consular assistance from the German embassy in Tehran. Iran treats dual nationals legally as Iranians. Amnesty International previously described the trial as a show trial.
CDU leader Friedrich Merz announced in early January that he would take over Sharmahd's political sponsorship. "With my sponsorship, I want to set an example for all men and women who are fighting for a free, self-determined life in Iran," said Merz's Twitter account. "The world is watching what is happening in Iran."
The chairwoman of the human rights committee in the Bundestag, Renata Alt (FDP), has sharply criticized the death sentence against the German-Iranian. “The sentence to death of Jamshid Sharmahd shows once again how crude and inhuman the Iranian judiciary is. Sharmahd is innocent and must be acquitted immediately," Alt demanded on Tuesday. "These inhumane policies of the mullahs' regime show the urgent need for further, tougher sanctions against Iran," she added.
Several European nationals are currently being held in Iran, many of whom are also of Iranian nationality. Critics accuse Iran of holding foreign nationals as political hostages. Tehran denies the allegations and usually justifies the arrests with allegations of espionage.