Dear Minister Annalena Baerbock,
we are reaching out to you in desperation and asking you to save a human life. The life of German citizen Jamshid Sharmahd, who has been held hostage by the Islamic Republic of Iran for 18 months, is in grave danger.
Jamshid Sharmahd had to make a three-day stopover at Dubai Airport in August 2020 on a trip from Germany to India. There he lost contact with his family. The family learned a few days later through Iranian state media that Mr. Sharmahd had been kidnapped by the Islamic Republic’s secret service and taken to Iran.
Jamshid Sharmahd is a political activist who has consistently criticized the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to his daughter, Gazelle Sharmahd, her father has been in solitary confinement for 555 days and has not been able to contact his family, nor has he had access to an independent lawyer or contact with family and relatives in Iran.
On Saturday, February 5, Iranian state media reported that his trial would begin the following day. The family found out about the trial again only through the media. On February 6, Jamshid Sharmahd’s trial began, which must be judged a political show trial as it is partially broadcast in the Iranian state media.
The family is extremely concerned: Jamshid Sharmahd is severely emaciated and “not himself anymore”. He is before the Revolutionary Court 15, which is presided over by Judge Abolqasem Salavati, notorious as the “death judge”. The charge is “corruption on earth,” which means the death penalty in the medieval legal system of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Judge Salavati is known to impose the death penalty. The last victim was Ruhollah Zam. Journalist Zam was also kidnapped to Iran and hanged there in December 2020.
It is of the utmost importance that the federal government act immediately to prevent the planned state assassination of Mr Sharmahd. We urge that the matter be given top priority, that a crisis management team be set up, and that the German government exhaust all political and diplomatic avenues to put pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran. A general condemnation of the death penalty and a call to respect human rights are not enough. We urge you to take immediate, serious and sustained action to save the life of the 66-year-old German citizen and his family from this horrific act.
With kind regards
Mina Ahadi, „International Committee against the death penalty”
Masih Alinejad, Iranian journalist and activist
Jamshid Barzegar, journalist
Ulrike Becker, Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin
Nazanin Boniadi, actor, human rights advocate, ambassador Amnesty UK
Mariam Claren, daughter of German-Iranian political prisoner Nahid Taghavi
Saed Dehghan, human rights lawyer and Member of International Bar Association
„Frauen für Freiheit e. V.”
Guila Fakhoury, Co-founder Amer Fakhoury Foundation
Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, hostage in Iran from 2018-2020
Martin Lessenthin, spokesman for the board of the International Society for Human Rights
Shiva Mahbobi, spokeswoman for Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran
Rezvan Moghaddam, women’s rights advocate
Daren Nair, former board member of Amnesty UK
Maryam Namazie, writer and activist
Gissou Nia, human rights lawyer
Majid Niknamamini, Journalist, founder of Sattar Beheshti Foundation und Amadnews
Dr. Reza Parchizadeh, political theorist and security analyst
Hourvash Pourkian , „International Women in Power“
Jason Poblete, US Attorney for Jamshid Sharmahd und president Global Liberty Alliance, 2020 recipient of the James W Foley Legacy Foundation Hostage Advocacy Award
Ahmad Rafat, Journalist Kayhan News
Barry Rosen, former US diplomat and hostage in Iran from 1979-1981
Kaveh Shahrooz, human rights lawyer
Gazelle Sharmahd, daughter of German-Iranian political prisonerJamshid Sharmahd