German-Iranian US citizen Jamshid Sharmahd and his daughter Gazelle

Iranian Hostage's Daughter Launches Campaign Against Executions

Friday, 02/23/2024

Gazelle Sharmahd, daughter of a dual-nationality prisoner sentenced to death in Iran, has launched a global campaign dubbed "CutTheRope" to protest against the surg in executions in Iran.

Jamshid Sharmahd, a 68-year-old software developer and California resident, was abducted by Iranian agents during a visit to the United Arab Emirates in 2020 and forcibly taken to Iran. In February 2023, the Iranian judiciary sentenced him to death on charges of endangering national security.

Sharmahd, who holds German and Iranian citizenship, was convicted of heading a pro-monarchist group named Tondar accused of a deadly bombing incident that occurred in 2008 at a religious center in Shiraz, killing 14 and injuring 215 more.

Drawing support from a coalition of families of prisoners, human rights activists, and political figures, the movement against capital punishment in Iran has gained traction globally.

Among the prominent supporters of Sharmehd's campaign are Yasmine Pahlavi, wife of Iran’s exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi, as well as Kylie Moore-Gilbert and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, two former political prisoners in Iran.

The campaign encourages individuals to share photos or videos of themselves with the hashtag #CutTheRope as a symbol of protest against executions in Iran.

According to Human Rights Activists News Agency, in 2023 alone, at least 791 citizens, including 25 women and two juvenile offenders, were executed -- a 33 percent increase compared to the previous year. Additionally, reports from Amnesty International revealed that from January 2012 to July 2023, over 5,000 individuals, including 57 children, were executed in Iran.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres had previously warned the UN General Assembly about the escalating execution rates in Iran, urging immediate action to address the concerning trend.

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