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Amnesty: Sweden’s life sentence to 1988 prison massacre is ‘a step toward justice’

Amnesty: Sweden’s life sentence to 1988 prison massacre is ‘a step toward justice’
posted onJuly 15, 2022

Amnesty International has called a life sentence handed down against the former Iranian official Hamid Nouri by a court in Sweden over crimes related to Iran’s infamous 1988 prison massacres an “unprecedented step towards justice”.

The trial was carried out under the principle of universal judication, with Stockholm’s District Court passing the sentence.

“Hamid Nouri’s conviction and sentence today in Sweden for crimes related to Iran’s 1988 prison massacres is an unprecedented step towards justice for crimes committed in Iran and sends an unequivocal, and long overdue, message to the Iranian authorities that those responsible for crimes against humanity in Iran will not escape justice,” Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, said.

The former Iranian official has been sentenced to life in prison by a Swedish court after being convicted of committing grave war crimes and murder during the final phase of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The Stockholm District Court on Thursday said that Hamid Noury took part in severe atrocities in July-August 1988 while working as an assistant to the deputy prosecutor at the Gohardasht prison outside the Iranian city of Karaj.

“For more than three decades, survivors and relatives of thousands of political dissidents extrajudicially killed and forcibly disappeared in Iran’s 1988 prison massacres, have struggled for truth and justice. With this first ever ruling against an Iranian official, albeit in a European court, they have finally witnessed an Iranian official held to account for these crimes,” Eltahawy added.

“This must be followed by all states exercising universal jurisdiction to criminally investigate all other former and current officials in Iran against whom there is evidence of involvement in past and ongoing crimes against humanity, including Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s president.”