IRAN - Sweden released Hamid Noury

IRAN - Hamid Noury

17 June 2024 :

June 15, 2024 - Sweden released Hamid Noury.
Convicted of war crimes.
Hamid Noury exchanged with Johan Floderus and Saeed Azizi
Hamid Noury, who was serving a life sentence, is returning to Tehran while Johan Floderus, a Swedish diplomat and dual national Saeed Azizi are on their way back to Stockholm.
Mr. Noury was arrested in Sweden in 2019 and convicted of involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in Iran more than three decades ago.
Mr. Floderus was detained in Iran two years ago on charges of spying while Mr. Azizi was arrested last November and sentenced to five years in prison.
Relations between Sweden and Iran have deteriorated since Mr Noury's conviction.
Announcing the swap, Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Iran had made Mr Floderus and Mr Azizi "both pawns in a cynical negotiation game, with the aim of getting Iranian citizen Hamid Noury released from prison in Sweden".
He added: "He is convicted of serious crimes committed in Iran in the 1980s."
Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday that Mr Noury had been illegally detained in Sweden but was now free and returning to Iran.
Mr Noury was accused of committing war crimes and murder in 1988 when, according to Swedish prosecutors, he was assistant to the deputy prosecutor at Gohardasht prison in Karaj.
He was the first person to face prosecution for participating in the execution of thousands of prisoners, which Iran's establishment has never formally acknowledged.
In 1988, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iraqi-backed leftist opposition group, had attacked Iran during the Iran and Iraq War.
Iran's then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an order to execute all prisoners who were loyal to or sympathised with the group.
Human rights groups estimate that between 2,800 and 5,000 women and men were executed at sites, including Gohardasht prison, between July and September 1988.
Noury, 63, was arrested after arriving at Stockholm airport on a flight from Iran. He denied the charges against him but he was found guilty of "grave breaches of international humanitarian law and murder".
He was tried under the principle of universal jurisdiction which allows countries to prosecute people for serious crimes against international law that took place elsewhere.
This includes war crimes, genocide, torture and crimes against humanity.
Late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, killed in a helicopter crash in May, also was involved in the mass executions.
Floderus' family said he was arrested in April 2022 at the Tehran airport while returning from a vacation with friends. Floderus had been held for months before his family and others went public with his detention.
Azizi's case was not as prominent, but in February, the group Human Rights Activists in Iran reported that the dual Iranian-Swedish national had been sentenced to five years in prison by Tehran's Revolutionary Court on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security.” The group said Azizi has cancer.
The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, praised the release of the 2 men.
“Other EU citizens are still arbitrarily detained in Iran,” he wrote on the social platform X. “We'll continue to work for their freedom together” with other EU states.
Iran long has contended it doesn't hold prisoners to use in negotiations, despite years of multiple swaps with the U.S. and other nations showing otherwise.
The swap, however, did not free Ahmadreza Djalali, a Swedish-Iranian expert on disaster medicine whom a U.N. panel long has described as being arbitrarily detained by Tehran since his arrest in 2016. Djalali faces possible execution after being convicted on charges of “corruption on Earth” in 2017 following what Amnesty International called a “grossly unfair trial” in Revolutionary Court.
“Ahmadreza Djalali’s family was not informed or in any way warned that there was an ongoing deal and that Ahmadreza Djalali was to be left behind, EVEN THOUGH he is the Swedish citizen who has been held hostage the longest,” a campaign seeking his release said on X. “They read the news today, like anyone else.”


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