Daughter of California man on death row in Iran files criminal complaint against Tehran in Germany


Berlin (AP) — The daughter of a California-based man sentenced to death in Iran has asked authorities in Germany to open criminal proceedings against members of the Iranian judiciary.

The family of Jamshid Sharmahd, who is a German-Iranian citizen, says he was abducted by Iran while staying in Dubai three years ago. Iranian authorities accused him of planning a 2008 attack on a mosque that killed 14 people and wounded over 200 others. He was sentenced to death earlier this year.

German and European diplomats have condemned the verdict, which comes amid an increase in executions by Iran.

Germany follows the principle of universal jurisdiction, under which authorities can investigate serious crimes committed elsewhere in the world.

Sharmahd’s daughter, Gazelle Sharmahd , filed a criminal complaint with the German federal prosecutor’s office against eight high-ranking members of Iran’s judiciary and the intelligence service, alleging crimes against humanity.

The Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, which is supporting her case, announced the filing Wednesday and said that the complaint targets prominent Iranian judge Abdolghassem Salavati and former Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, among others.

“The kidnapping in Dubai, the unlawful detention, the torture while in detention, and the imminent execution of my father as a result of a show trial exemplify the untold crimes of the Iranian regime,” Gazelle Sharmahd said in a statement Wednesday.

“The regime in Tehran is responsible for the systematic torture, sexual violence, executions and ‘disappearances’ perpetrated against tens of thousands of people — most recently in the wake of the crackdown on the feminist revolution,” ECCHR’s secretary general, Wolfgang Kaleck, said.

“Whether through criminal charges in Germany in the Sharmahd case, legal action in another country or before an international court, the goal is to bring high-ranking officials of the Iranian government, judiciary, and security apparatus to justice for these crimes.”

Earlier this year, Germany and Iran expelled each others’ diplomats over the Sharmahd case. His hometown is Glendora, California.

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