By Natasha Phillips

Jamshid Sharmahd, a German-Iranian IT consultant and political dissident was sentenced to death on Feb. 21 by an Iranian court. The judges sentencing Sharmahd said an appeal could be made to Iran’s Supreme Court.

The judges held that Sharmahd was responsible for an attack on a mosque which killed 14 people and left 200 injured, a charge he has always denied. 

Sharmahd was kidnapped by Iranian officials in Dubai in 2020, on his way to India. His family say he is in critical condition, that he has been routinely tortured in detention, and has been kept in solitary confinement for almost 1,000 days. 

Amnesty International called the conviction “unjust” and demanded his immediate release in an April 3 letter to Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the head of Iran’s judiciary. Sharmahd’s exact location remains unknown.

In this Kayhan Life podcast, his daughter Gazelle Sharmahd talks about her family’s fears for her father’s safety, and why she now has to employ security teams when she travels.

Gazelle also discusses her growing campaign to help arbitrarily detained foreign nationals, and her recent meetings in Germany’s parliament, where she says she secured support at the highest government level. 

“We don’t even know if [my father] is still alive, because we have heard of cases where the death sentence was carried out and the family was not notified,” Sharmahd said during the interview. “It is very clear in the case of my dad they wanted [to do a prisoner swap with Belgium-based prisoner] Assadollah Assadi.” 

“We’re still not talking about the big elephant in the room, that [these detainees] are hostages,” Sharmahd said. “We have to talk about it now.” 

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