Iranian-German journalist Jamshid Sharmahd, 67, has been convicted of “corruption of earth” and sentenced to death by an Iranian court, BBC Persian reported on Tuesday. Iran maintains that the conviction is related to terrorist activity on behalf of Sharmahd, according to the Iranian Mizan news agency.
Mizan is an Iranian news agency that has a large focus on legal and judiciary matters in the country. As with other issues, on the issue of Sharmahd, Mizan adopts the position of the Iranian regime and reports that the Iranian-German journalist is connected with terrorist activity that has resulted in the deaths of innocent Iranians.
Who is Jamshid Sharmahd?
“Sharmahd [is the] leader of the Tondor terrorist group,” the news agency labels him in a video. Furthermore, Iran connects him and Tondor with the 2008 Shiraz bombing, where 14 people were killed.
Tondor, which is Persian for “thunder,” is a US-based group that the BBC reports is trying to replace the current Islamist regime in Iran with the monarchy that was dismantled during the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Yesterday, Amnesty International, the non-governmental human rights organization that has been criticized for having a toxic work environment, support for terrorists, and extreme bias against Israel, yesterday called for an “immediate reversal of the sentence and the release of Jamshid Sharmahd.” The human rights organization cited Iran’s arbitrary detainment, coerced confession and complete disregard for Sharmahd’s human rights.
Sharmahd has been held by Iran since July 2020 when, as the Jerusalem Post reported last year, he was kidnapped from a hotel in Dubai by Iranian agents.
The death sentence handed down did not come as a surprise. Last year, Sharmahd’s daughter Gazelle told The Jerusalem Post that the family was advised that a “death sentence [was] certain.”
What are “corruption on earth” charges?
Islamic jurisprudence dictates penalties for spreading “corruption on earth.” The legitimate Islamic prohibition has, however, been used by Islamist figures and entities to advance their political or ideological agendas. This occurs even in the mainstream.
For instance, in a 2020 video, popular Islamist YouTuber, Ali Dawah, a content creator who currently has 960 thousand subscribers on the platform, justified a state-sanctioned death penalty for ex-Muslim apostates.
Under an emir, “people... who leave their religion and cause corruption in the land by spreading it, the capital punishment in Islamic law will be applied to you... and we're proud of that.”
In Iran, the charge of “corruption on earth” has been applied to justify the execution of protesters. For instance, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini were two such protesters who were executed in December of 2022 following convictions of “corruption on earth.”
Karami and Hosseini were both arrested for their involvement with the Mahsa Amini protests.