Amnesty International is calling on Iran’s authorities to immediately release a German-Iranian political dissident who has been sentenced to death following a “grossly unfair” trial, or at least reveal his fate and whereabouts and give him adequate medical care.
The London-based human rights watchdog said on April 3 that the authorities have subjected Jamshid Sharmahd to an enforced disappearance for about 32 months, as well as to “torture and other ill-treatment including through prolonged solitary confinement and denial of adequate healthcare.”
Sharmahd was abducted by Iranian officials in the United Arab Emirates in July 2020 and forcibly transfer to Iran.
In February, the judiciary’s website reported that Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced the political activist to death for “spreading corruption on Earth.” Sharmahd is accused of “planning and directing terrorist acts,” charges he denies.
Germany’s government ordered two employees of the Iranian Embassy in Berlin to leave the country in protest, which was followed by a similar move by Iran’s government.
Western governments have repeatedly accused the Islamic Republic of taking dual and foreign nationals hostage for the sole purpose of using them in prisoner swaps.
During and after Sharmahd’s trial, Iranian state media repeatedly re-broadcast his forced “confessions” in a propaganda video accusing him of “terrorism,” Amnesty International said.
“Severe” Body Aches, Breathing Difficulties
The prisoner has been denied “his rights to an independent lawyer of his own choosing, to adequate defense, to be protected from torture and other ill-treatment, to the presumption of innocence and to be tried by an competent and impartial tribunal,” it added.
During three brief phone calls to his family, Sharmahd said he was being held in prolonged solitary confinement since his abduction and that he was forced to sleep on the floor in a small room, where he is “unable to distinguish between day and night.”
Authorities are also denying Sharmahd dental care and other healthcare and are routinely delaying his access to medications required for his Parkinson’s disease, resulting in “severe body aches” and breathing difficulties, Amnesty International said.
During his last phone call to his family in February, the prisoner said he found it difficult to maintain his balance while standing up as his health severely deteriorated.
The activist’s government-appointed lawyer told the family he believed the death sentence would be carried out unless they engaged in “diplomatic” activities for a prisoner swap, Amnesty International said.
According to relatives, security agents wish to exchange Sharmahd for a former Iranian official, Asadollah Asadi, who is serving a 20-year sentence in Belgium.
Source » iranwire