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Iran and Sweden perform a prisoner swap, liberating man convicted of warfare crimes over 1988 executions


Hamid Noury, who’s accused of involvement within the bloodbath of political prisoners in Iran in 1988, sits with legal professional Thomas Soderqvist, throughout his trial, on this courtroom sketch, in Stockholm District Court, Sweden November 23, 2021. Photo: TT News Agency by way of Reuters    

Iran and Sweden on Saturday carried out a prisoner swap that includes the discharge of Hamid Nouri, convicted of warfare crimes by Sweden over 1988 mass executions within the Islamic Republic, in change for a European Union diplomat and one other man held by Tehran.

Iran launched Johan Floderus, a Swede who had been working for the EU’s diplomatic corps, in addition to a person recognized as Saeed Azizi by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

They “are now on a plane home to Sweden, and will soon be reunited with their families,” Kristersson wrote on the social platform X.

Swedish EU diplomat Johan Floderus

Swedish EU diplomat Johan Floderus
| Photo Credit:

Oman mediated the swap, the state-run Oman News Agency reported. Iranian state tv reported Nouri was already freed and can be heading again to Tehran.

In 2022, the Stockholm District Court sentenced Nouri to life in jail over his position within the executions. It recognized him as an assistant to the deputy prosecutor on the Gohardasht jail exterior the Iranian metropolis of Karaj.

The 1988 mass executions got here on the finish of Iran’s lengthy warfare with Iraq. After Iran’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini accepted a United Nations-brokered cease-fire, members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, closely armed by Saddam Hussein, stormed throughout the Iranian border in a shock assault.

Iran finally blunted their assault, however the assault set the stage for the sham retrials of political prisoners, militants and others that may develop into often called “death commissions.”

International rights teams estimate that as many as 5,000 folks have been executed. Iran has by no means absolutely acknowledged the executions, apparently carried out on Khomeini’s orders, although some argue that different prime officers have been successfully in cost within the months earlier than his 1989 demise.

Late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, killed in a helicopter crash in May, additionally was concerned within the mass executions.

Floderus’ household stated he was arrested in April 2022 on the Tehran airport whereas getting back from a trip with buddies. His detention represented one more case of Tehran utilizing foreigners or these with twin nationalities as pawns in negotiations with the West.

Azizi’s case was not as outstanding as Floderus’. In February, the group Human Rights Activists in Iran reported that the twin Iranian-Swedish nationwide had been sentenced to 5 years in jail by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court on fees of “assembly and collusion against national security.” The group stated Azizi has most cancers.

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