Families of two German and two Austrian citizens currently jailed in Iran have called on the governments in Berlin and Vienna to demand their release as part of nuclear talks with Tehran.
In an open letter to German and Austrian foreign ministers published in Die Welt on Monday, the families of Nahid Taghavi, Jamshid Sharmahd, Kamran Ghaderi, and Masoud Mossaheb urged their respective governments to show they are committed to human rights.
The families questioned whether the two governments were doing enough to confront the Islamic Republic over its “hostage-taking” policy — targeting foreign citizens to use as bargaining chips to settle disputes with European governments.
“When, if not now, would it be time to publicly name our loved ones; to stand behind them, your citizens, and to demand their release with all vehemence?”, they asked Annalena Baerbock and Alexander Schallenberg.
Taghavi, 67, a German-Iranian rights activist is imprisoned since October 2020 and is sentenced to 10 years, while, Sharmahd, 66, is kept in isolation at a secret location since he was snatched by Iranian agents while travelling to India in August 2020. Sharmahd is accused of involvement in a 2008 mosque bombing in Iran that killed 14 people.
Mossaheb, 75, an engineer; and Ghaderi, 58, a businessman, are both held in Evin prison after each was sentenced to a decade in what rights groups say were unfair trials.