Activists slam ‘show trial’ as Jamshid Sharmahd awaits verdict in Iran

Those watching the trial of German-Iranian citizen Jamshid Sharmahd in Iran say he was forced to incriminate himself in the seventh and final hearing on Tuesday.

The 67-year-old was abducted in Dubai in August 2020. After a long career as a software engineer, he later became the spokesman for the exiled Iranian opposition group Tondar, and was thus accused by the Islamic Republic of having orchestrated a series of terrorist attacks in Iran, which he denies.

Amnesty International called Sharmahd’s trial “grossly unfair”. The father-of-two and grandfather has been held in solitary confinement, which is considered a form of torture, for the better part of two years without access to a lawyer or case notes.

On Tuesday, Sharmahd, who also has Parkinson’s disease, was asked again about a 2008 explosion at a mosque in Shiraz that killed 14 people and injured around 200.

As before, Sharmahd insisted he did not engineer or order the apparent bombardment, or any other that took place in Rasht. He did, however, agree that he “announced a coup against the Islamic Republic” from Tondar’s television studio in California.

In an earlier hearing before Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, Sharmahd was told by the judge that while incarcerated he had signed a document stating that he took responsibility for the attack. He replied, “Yes. But I did not do anything. »

Tuesday’s hearing is expected to be the last. Sharmahd is charged with “corruption on earth”, an ill-defined charge in the Islamic Penal Code that can carry the death penalty if confirmed.

Mina Ahadi, human rights and anti-death penalty activist, said of the case: “This is not a trial under the rule of law. A confession after 700 days of solitary confinement, torture and enormous physical and psychological pressure has no value.”

Gazelle Sharmahd, Jamshid Sharmahd’s daughter, said, “Seeing my father’s photos in Iranian media breaks my heart.

“Not only did he lose weight; he can barely walk straight and suffers from heart pain and breathing difficulties. He also lost all his teeth, which begs the question in my mind, what did they do to him?

“In a rare phone call two days ago with the family, it was clear that he had lost sense of space and time. He seemed tired and exhausted. My father is innocent: he was imprisoned for having exercised his right to freedom of expression.”

The Mideast Freedom Forum called on the German government and the Bundestag to publicly demand the immediate release of Jamshid Sharmahd. In a statement, it added: “Severe consequences must be threatened in the event that Mr Shahrmahd is indeed executed in this show trial.”

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