A Swedish court upholds the conviction of an Iranian official for crimes against imprisoned opponents

In a case that could have diplomatic consequences, a Swedish appeals court upheld the conviction of A former Iranian prison official has been sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed during a purge of dissidents in 1988.

The verdict could have an impact on the fate of Swedish prisoners in Iran, including the EU diplomat Johan Floderus, which has more than 600 inmates. days.

The Svea Court of Appeal said in a statement on Tuesday that it had “upheld the judgment…in essential parts.” Hamid Noury, 62 years oldwho was sentenced to life imprisonment in July 2022 “for serious violations of international humanitarian law and murder.”

“In our judgment, the prosecutor’s case is sound and generally persuasive, and the district court was correct in finding that the prosecutor’s allegations were sufficiently substantiated,” the judge said. Robert Green.

Noury ​​was arrested at a Stockholm airport in November 2019 after Iranian dissidents in Sweden filed a police report against him.

The case is related to the murder of at least 5,000 prisoners across Iranallegedly ordered by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini to avenge attacks by the exiled opposition group People’s Mujahideen of Iran (MEK) at the end of the 1980-1988 war against Iran.

Sweden tried Noury ​​​​as part of its principle universal jurisdiction, This allows you to examine a case regardless of where the crimes were committed.

The district court noted that Noury ​​​​was an assistant prosecutor at a prison near Tehran at the time of the events and “recovered prisoners, brought them to the committee and escorted them to the place of execution.” Noury’s defense lawyers had asked the appeal court to acquit him or reduce his sentence.

The lower court trial was the first involving mass executions in Iran in the 1980s. It was particularly sensitive as human rights activists accuse senior Iranian officials now in power – including the current president – of Ebrahim Raisi– to have been members of the committees that imposed the death sentences.

Noury’s arrest and conviction have strained relations between Sweden and Iran. While Noury’s trial was underway in the lower court in Stockholm in April 2022, Iran arrested Johan Floderus, a Swede working for the EU diplomatic service, as he returned from a trip to Iran with friends.

Read Also:  China is building a new cyber defense force within its army

The Floderus trial began in Iran earlier this month when Tehran accused the 33-year-old of conspiring with Iran’s arch-enemy Israel “Corruption on Earth” one of Iran’s most serious crimes, which carries a maximum penalty of death.

Ahmadreza Djalalian Iranian-Swedish academic, is also imprisoned and faces execution after being arrested in Iran in 2016 and sentenced to death on espionage charges.

Iran has previously used detained foreign nationals as bargaining chips to secure the release of its citizens or frozen funds abroad, including in the United States and Belgium.

Swedish media have speculated about the possibility of a prisoner exchange between Sweden and Iran. Mark KlambergProfessor of international law and non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, noted that Tuesday’s ruling would likely be appealed to Sweden’s Supreme Court and that any possible agreement would have to wait for a final decision.

Klamberg pointed out that a prisoner exchange could be carried out in two ways. “The government could forgive Noury… But I don’t think that will happen, it’s politically impossible,” he said. Klamberg told Agence France Presse.

Assuming Stockholm wants a swap, Sweden and Iran would most likely agree that Noury ​​would have to serve the remainder of his sentence in Iran, which in practice would likely mean he would be a free man upon his return.

However, Klamberg pointed out that political considerations then come into play. For example, acceptance could encourage Iran to continue its policy of taking foreigners hostage as a bargaining chip, he warned.

Another consideration was why Noury ​​was brought to trial in the first place. Klamberg explained that for some victims it is important that Noury ​​serves his sentence, while for others it may be equally important that the Swedish court makes a binding determination of what happened in the 1980s, a sentence that is unique in itself . “I think an important aspect for the Swedish government is how (a prisoner exchange) would be received by the victims,” he said. Klamberg said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström declined to comment on the possibility of a prisoner exchange.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here