The final week of Hamid Noury’s trial is going on in Stockholm, Sweden. The Swedish prosecutors have requested the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for Noury who is charged with international war crimes and human rights abuses relating to the murders of more than 100 people. The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised against non-essential travel to Iran for fear that, in response to the trial, the Iranian government may arrest Swedish citizens to use them as political bargaining chips. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swedish ambassador to Iran to protest the continued imprisonment of Noury.
Hamid Noury, a 60-year-old former Iranian Judiciary official, was temporarily arrested at Stockholm International Airport in November 2019 and has remained in jail for the last two years.
He is being tried for involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in Iran in the 1980s. Noury was a Deputy Prosecutor at Gohardasht prison outside of Karaj and near the capital city of Tehran in the 1980s. While working in Gohardasht prison, Noury reportedly took part in the mistreatment, lashing, torture, and execution of political prisoners. Noury denies all the allegations.
During the 89th hearing of Noury’s trial on April 28, prosecutors requested a life sentence for crimes against humanity. A few hours later on the same day, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an advisory warning against non-essential travel to Iran. The statement said that foreigners could be detained and subject to violence if they were in the vicinity of unrest. “Foreign travelers can be arbitrarily detained and prosecuted without clear reasons,” the statement added.
Following this development, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Swedish ambassador to Tehran to protest the continued imprisonment of Noury.
On May 1, the Iranian Foreign Ministry called in Mattias Lentz, the Swedish ambassador to Iran, to convey the Islamic Republic’s strongest protest over “the baseless and fabricated” charges against Noury.
It also urged Sweden to end the Noury trial’s “political show” and release the Iranian national.
This is the second time that the Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned a Swedish envoy in recent weeks. Last month, the Swedish embassy’s chargé d’affaires was summoned after Swedish far-right groups burned copies of the Quran during a demonstration during the month of Ramadan.
This has been a significant trial for survivors of the mass executions and families of the victims of the summer of 1988. It is the first time an Islamic Republic of Iran official involved in the mass killing of more than 5,000 political prisoners has been charged with a crime.