Iran Supreme Court upholds death sentence of German-Iranian dissident

The Iranian Supreme Court Wednesday upheld the death sentence of German-Iranian dissident Jamshid Sharmahd. Supreme Court spokesman Masoud Satayshi announced the decision at a press conference, adding that “enforcement actions will be taken subsequently.”

Sharmahd was sentenced to death in February for afsad-i fil arz, or “corruption on earth,” which is a broad category of offenses that all carry the death penalty. In 2020, Iranian authorities abducted Sharmahd in Abu Dhabi and subsequently accused him of leading the monarchist sect the Kingdom Assembly of Iran (Tondar). Amnesty International said that in a 2023 “sham trial,” Iranian judges convicted Sharmahd of attempting to carry out 23 terror attacks and successfully completing five, including a 2008 attack that killed 13 people.

According to Amnesty International, Sharmahd created a website for Tondar where users could anonymously post content. The human rights organization also noted that:

The website included statements from the Kingdom Assembly of Iran claiming responsibility for explosions inside Iran. Jamshid Sharmahd has denied his involvement in the violent acts attributed to him by the authorities, including by rejecting all accusations during trial.

The court’s ruling drew international condemnation, with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock commenting, “Jamshid Sharmahd never had a fair trial []. We call on Iran to reverse this arbitrary judgment immediately.” Baerbock added that Germany’s ambassador to Iran cut short a trip to intervene on Sharmahd’s behalf and avert the completion of Sharmahd’s sentence.

Amnesty previously reported that authorities tortured Sharmahd before his trial and refused to disclose his location. The organization also claimed that “[Sharmahd’s] government-appointed lawyer said that without payment of US $250,000 from the family, he would not defend Jamshid Sharmahd in court and would only ‘sit there.”

According to his daughter Gazelle, Sharmahd has also spent nearly 1000 days in solitary confinement, losing his teeth and “a lot of weight” as a result.