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Hamid Noury’s Appeal Rejected, Sweden Government Urged to Stand Firm Against Iranian Mass Murderers’ Impunity

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In a pivotal ruling, Sweden’s Supreme Court has declined to entertain an appeal from former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury, convicted for his involvement in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners within Iran’s prison system. The court’s decision upholds Noury’s life sentence, initially pronounced by a Swedish district court in July 2022.

Noury’s conviction centers on grave violations of international humanitarian law and murder committed during the harrowing events of the summer of 1988, where more than 30,000 political prisoners, predominantly affiliated with the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK), were executed following the regime’s acceptance of a ceasefire with Iraq.

Arrested at a Stockholm airport in November 2019, Noury stood trial under Sweden’s principle of universal jurisdiction, empowering the country to prosecute individuals for grave offenses regardless of where they occurred. Despite Noury’s persistent denial of the charges, dismissing them as fabricated, the appeals court upheld the initial verdict in December 2023.

This landmark case reverberates with broader implications, as it spotlights the long-standing accusations leveled against senior Iranian officials, including current President Ebrahim Raisi, for their alleged involvement in the “Death Committees” responsible for orchestrating the 1988 death sentences.

Sweden’s Supreme Court’s refusal to entertain Noury’s appeal underscores the nation’s unwavering commitment to confronting impunity for grave human rights violations and upholding the tenets of international law and justice. Despite concerted efforts by the clerical regime to contest the verdict through Noury’s legal representatives, Sweden’s High Court has unequivocally reaffirmed the primacy of justice, sending a resolute message against impunity for crimes against humanity.

Against the backdrop of these legal proceedings, which shed light on the Iranian regime’s egregious human rights abuses, particularly its hostage-taking practices, Tehran may reconsider its coercive tactics vis-à-vis Sweden. The infamous prisoner swap between Belgium and Iran in the case of Assadollah Assadi serves as a stark reminder of Tehran’s willingness to exploit diplomatic channels for its ulterior motives. Olivier Vandecasteele’s ordeal, detained in Iran for over a year, epitomizes Tehran’s instrumentalization of individuals for political leverage, evident in the release of a terrorist implicated in a plot targeting innocent civilians and Western dignitaries in 2018.

The ongoing conflict in the Middle East serves as a stark reminder of the international community’s failure to hold Tehran accountable for its role in funding, arming, and training proxy militant groups. This failure has allowed the regime to not only destabilize the region but also pose a threat to global security. Granting impunity to mass murderers and state-sponsored terrorists will only embolden the Iranian regime, enabling it to continue its dangerous tactics under the guise of strategic leverage and so-called “field diplomacy.”