‘Death sentence certain’ for German-Iranian journalist

The Iranian regime kidnapped Jamshid Sharmahd in 2020 and claims he played role in the 2008 Shiraz attack that killed 14.

Jamshid Sharmahd (photo credit: SHARMAHD FAMILY)
Jamshid Sharmahd
(photo credit: SHARMAHD FAMILY)

The Iranian government is slated to execute California resident and German citizen and radio journalist Jamshid Sharmahd for his dissident activities, according to the 67-year-old’s family.

Speaking from California last week, Sharmahd’s daughter Gazelle told The Jerusalem Post that a Tehran regime lawyer told the family that a “death sentence is certain.” She said that the sixth hearing of her father’s “sham trial” will be announced.

“A Tehran Revolutionary Court could sentence Jamshid Sharmahd to death this week. The highly unfair trial of the political dissident is slated to end with a final day of the show trial. Please stand up for him,” The German branch of Amnesty International wrote on Wednesday.

“Since September 2021, Jamshid Sharmahd’s whereabouts have been kept secret and the authorities have banned his family members from any contact with him,” Amnesty said. “He is at great risk of torture and other ill treatment.”

The Iranian regime kidnapped Sharmahd in July 2020 while he was staying at a hotel in Dubai. He had been living in California since 2003.

Jamshid Sharmahd with his family (credit: SHARMAHD FAMILY)Jamshid Sharmahd with his family (credit: SHARMAHD FAMILY)

Charges

"Jamshid Sharmahd is an American resident being held hostage by the dictatorship in Iran. Now, he faces a sham trial and possible execution. The Biden administration must act to save him and other Americans held by this criminal regime."

National Union For Democracy in Iran

“Jamshid Sharmahd is an American resident being held hostage by the dictatorship in Iran,” Amnesty said. “Now, he faces a sham trial and possible execution. The Biden administration must act to save him and other Americans held by this criminal regime.”

The Islamic Republic’s non-transparent justice system claims Sharmahd played a role in a 2008 terrorist attack in Shiraz that left 14 people dead and more than 200 injured.

But the regime-controlled Fars News said in 2008 that “The explosion of a bomb or an explosion carried out by opposition elements, be they internal or foreign, is ruled out,” the national security council said, adding that “The blast was caused by some munitions used in an exhibition for the [Iran-Iraq war] martyrs in the mosque.”

Gazelle, who has not talked to her father in a year and a half, stressed that the trial’s real purpose is to seek a “scapegoat” for the explosion in 2008 and to “persecute dissidents and activists.”

The National Union For Democracy in Iran (NUFDI), an organization made up of Iranian-Americans seeking justice in the Islamic Republic, wrote: “Jamshid Sharmahd is an American resident being held hostage by the dictatorship in Iran. Now, he faces a sham trial and possible execution. The Biden administration must act to save him and other Americans held by this criminal regime.”

GAZELLE TOLD the Post, which sent a press query to the US State Department: “I don’t see true actions from Germany. If Germany wants to rescue my dad, they can. They have the resources.”

When asked if the German government would sever diplomatic and business relations with Iran’s regime to secure Sharmahd’s freedom, it did not answer. A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry told the Post that “The death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment which the federal government, under all circumstances and unreservedly, opposes. We keep telling Iran this clearly in connection with Mr. Sharmahd.”

Jamshid Sharmahd with his family (credit: SHARMAHD FAMILY)Jamshid Sharmahd with his family (credit: SHARMAHD FAMILY)

Gazelle believes it is the first time the German government explicitly stated the name Sharmahd in a comment. According to observers, it issued boilerplate diplomatic language that “we [the German Foreign Ministry] will continue to strive for consular access to the person concerned.”

California-based Iranian-American human rights activist Lawdan Bazargan said that Germany, “should have broken its ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran years ago” and needs to end bilateral relations with Tehran to help secure the release of Sharmahd.

Kazem Moussavi, a well-known German-Iranian dissident, told the Post: “I call on Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to unequivocally demand that the ayatollahs release Jamshid Sharmahd immediately and to stress that Germany will sever relations with the regime and severely sanction it if there is an execution.”

Gazelle said she agrees “100%” with Barzargan and Moussavi. Germany needs “to cut diplomatic and economic ties” with Iran’s regime, she said, with a view toward securing her father’s freedom.

A petition on the website Change.org to save Sharmahd’s life had amassed over 75,000 signatures as of Saturday.

She said that her father has spent “720 days in isolation. He is a Parkinson’s patient, and he is in severe pain. All of his teeth, with the exception of two, have fallen out. They are emotionally and psychologically torturing Jimmy [Jamshid]. And Germany’s government just says we condemn the death penalty in general. They have to do something.”

Gazelle said in the last year her father was only allowed to talk to her mother two times – and that the Iranian regime tried to “make us [Gazelle and her brother] use false evidence against him.”

The regime wanted us to “put remote spy control software on my father’s software.” She said she and her brother continued to “stall” so they could communicate with their father on the telephone.

Iran’s regime realized that we were not going to insert spy software and “barred us from talking to Jimmy.”