Forced confessions on 7th day of trial of show trial of German-Iranian regime critic Jamshid Sharmahd
Iran held another hearing today in the trial of German citizen Jamshid Sharmahd. On today's trial day, the well-known critic of the regime in Iran was forced - after apparent torture - to confess to some of the acts he is accused of.
The Save Sharmahd alliance strongly condemns the sham trial. Human rights activist Mina Ahadi, who has been fighting against the death penalty since 2004, says: "The German public must not be deceived by the staged show trial before the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. This is no trial under the rule of law. A confession after 700 days of isolation torture and enormous physical and psychological pressure has no value whatsoever."
Jamshid Sharmahd has now been held incommunicado for more than 700 days. Solitary confinement is considered torture and is outlawed by all human rights organizations. Sharmahd has no access to a lawyer of his choice and almost no contact with his family. The 66-year-old suffers from Parkinson's disease and from the consequences of solitary confinement and the lack of medical care.
Rebecca Schönenbach from the association "Women for Freedom" explains: "The pressure on Sharmahd is enormous and completely inhumane. This is the typical procedure of the regime of injustice in Iran: prisoners are psychologically manipulated until they give up and confess to something they didn't do, just so that the unbearable pressure exerted on them will stop."
The daughter of regime critic Gazelle Sharmahd is in deepest concern for her father. "Seeing my father's pictures in the Iranian media breaks my heart. Not only has he lost weight, he can barely walk upright, and suffers from heart pain and breathing difficulties. He has also lost all his teeth, which raises the question in my mind, what have they done to him? In a rare phone call two days ago with the family, it was clear that he has lost the sense of space and time. He seemed tired and exhausted. My father is innocent: he was imprisoned for using his right to freedom of expression."
Ulrike Becker of the Mideast Freedom Forum formulates demands of the alliance to the German government: "We call on the German government and the Bundestag to publicly demand the immediate release of Jamshid Sharmahd. In doing so, harsh consequences must be threatened in the event that Mr. Shahrmahd is actually executed in this show trial. In addition, it would be important for all Western states to cooperate and jointly put pressure on the regime so that it cannot continue to use Western citizens to extort concessions from the West."
The alliance also appeals to all members of the Bundestag and the public to join the SaveJamshidSharmahd campaign, demand his release and publicly criticize the regime's actions.
For more information on the Sharmahd case, visit the International Society for Human Rights website here: www.igfm.de/kampagne-save-jamshid-sharmahd/. And on the site of the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin: www.mideastfreedomforum.org/start/deutschland/aktionen/appelle-und-briefaktionen/save-sharmahd