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Iranian-Swedish Tensions Rise over Trial of 1988 Mass Executions Jailer

Iranian-Swedish Tensions Rise over Trial of 1988 Mass Executions Jailer

Wednesday, 4 May, 2022 - 10:15
A courtroom sketch of Hamid Nouri sitting with his lawyer during his trial in Stockholm District Court on November 23, 2021 [Anders Humlebo/TT News Agency via Reuters]

Swedish-Iranian national Ahmad Reza Jalali is to be executed on May 21 at the latest, Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency said on Wednesday, citing sources.

Jalali, a disaster medicine doctor and researcher, was arrested in 2016 on an academic visit to Iran and sentenced to death on charges of espionage for Israel's Mossad.

The report comes as Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian prosecution official arrested by Swedish authorities in 2019, faces a life sentence in Sweden on charges of international war crimes and human rights abuses.

Nouri is accused of playing a leading role in the killing of political prisoners executed on government orders at the Gohardasht prison in Karaj, Iran, in 1988.

Swedish prosecutors and plaintiffs have requested life imprisonment for Nouri for his role in the prison purges.

In the 89th session of Nouri’s trial, plaintiffs’ lawyers said Nouri played “an active role” in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in Iranian prisons and requested the court hand out the maximum sentence of life imprisonment for him.

On Sunday evening, Tehran summoned Sweden's ambassador over what it considered “baseless and false allegations” made against Nouri.

Iran's Secretary of High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi described Sweden’s trial of Nouri as “unlawful and unfair.”

Gharibabadi said Nouri's trial is a sham that violates the principles of justice and human rights.

Gharibabadi pointed out that “Nouri has been arrested based on false accusations and his detention is regarded as forced disappearance since his family was kept unaware of the arrest.”

There was no comment from the Swedish government on the Iranian statements.

In 2019, Nouri was arrested upon his arrival in Sweden over alleged human rights abuses.

Swedish prosecutors have invoked the principle of “universal jurisdiction” for serious crimes to bring the case against Nouri to trial.

Last week, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a message on Twitter, advised its country’s citizens against non-essential travel to Iran “due to the security situation.”

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