German lawyers file criminal charges against Iranian judges

The daughter of German-Iranian citizen Jamshid Sharmahd has filed charges against eight members of the Iranian judiciary and secret services for kidnapping and torture, and the threat of state-sanctioned murder.

Gazelle Sharmahd and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) are hoping to force German federal prosecutors to investigate the alleged kidnapping and torture of dissident Jamshid Sharmahd in Iran, following years of frustration over inaction by the German government.

Jamshid Sharmahd, who is believed to have been abducted by Iranian security forces in Dubai in 2020, was condemned to death by an Iranian court earlier this year on charges of “corruption on Earth” in connection with an alleged terrorist bombing in Shiraz in 2008.

Sharmahd, who lived in the US since 2003, denied any involvement with the bombing, and a video confession released by the Iranian government is believed to have been forced. Amnesty International has called his trial “grossly unfair,” saying that he has been denied the right to independent defense, and has been mistreated in custody.

Amnesty International said that Sharmahd was targeted because he created a website for an opposition collective that advocates for an end to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The ECCHR lawyers who support his daughter say that since he is a German citizen, the German judiciary is obliged to investigate Sharmahd’s case and could issue international arrest warrants against the eight individuals named in the charges. These men include the Iranian chief state prosecutor, the head of Iran’s intelligence agencies at the time of Sharmahd’s abduction and several top-ranking judges.