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EU condemns Iran over death penalty for German-Iranian citizen

  • April 29, 2023

The European Union said that it “strongly condemns” the death sentence imposed on jailed German-Iranian citizen Jamshid Sharmahd.

Sharmahd has been held responsible for a 2008 terrorist attack in Iran. Tehran’s Supreme Court upheld his death sentence, first issued in February, on Wednesday. It is not clear when the sentence, typically done by hanging in Iran, will be carried out.

In a statement issued on Friday by the office of the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the EU called on Tehran “to refrain from executing the death penalty on Mr. Sharmahd, repeal his sentence and ensure Mr. Sharmahd be provided the basic rights to which he is entitled unter international law without delay.”

His daughter, Gazelle Sharmahd, told DW this week that the 68-year-old had “no lawyer … no access to anybody,” and also no access to medication he needed for Parkinson’s disease. She said she had not spoken to him in years.

Iran upholds death sentence of German-Iranian

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EU: Sharmahd is entitled to basic rights

A court in Iran handed down the death penalty to the 68-year-old in February. He had been in jail since 2020.

Family members, human rights activists and an array of German politicians criticized the trial and described the allegations against him as unfounded.


The EU called on Iran to refrain from any executions, “to pursue a consistent policy towards the abolition of capital punishment and to strictly abide by its international obligations, in particular under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Iran is a party.” 

The bloc reiterated its “deep concern about the situation of EU nationals and dual nationals arbitrarily detained in Iran.”

Daughter of German-Iranian sentenced to death speaks to DW

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Sharmahd’s family alleges that he was abducted

Sharmahd and his family moved to Germany when he was a child. He now has a German passport. However, since he was born in Tehran he automatically has an Iranian citizenship.

Sharmahd had been living in the US for years before his arrest in 2020. Sharmahd’s family alleges that he was abducted by Iranian intelligence officials during a stopover in Dubai, where they should have no jurisdiction.

In the US, he was involved with the exile monarchist opposition group called Tondar, which seeks to overthrow the Islamic Republic and restore Iranian monarchy.

Iran’s judiciary held the group responsible for an attack in a mosque in the city Shiraz in 2008. The incident had left 14 people dead and over 200 were injured. 

Tondar is classified as a “terrorist organization” in Iran.

ns/msh (AFP, dpa)

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