A landmark trial of a former Iranian official linked to the decades-old mass execution of dissidents started in Sweden on Tuesday in a warfare crimes case that might make clear the brand new Iranian president’s personal alleged position within the lethal purge.
Prosecutors in Stockholm have accused Hamid Noury of “intentionally taking the life of a very large number of prisoners sympathetic to or belonging to the People’s Mujahedin” in the summertime of 1988.
The People’s Mujahedin, also called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), is a now-exiled Iranian resistance group that opposed the Western-backed shah and pushed for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. The MEK killed a number of Americans previous to the 1979 Islamic Revolution and was listed as a terrorist group by the United States till 2012.
In retaliation for the group’s cooperation with the Iraqi military in the course of the Iran-Iraq War, the Iranian regime forcibly disappeared and executed 1000’s of dissidents affiliated with the MEK in 1988. Amnesty International estimates greater than 5,000 political prisoners have been killed throughout 32 cities underneath the orders of then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini.
Prosecutors say Noury, who served as an assistant to the deputy governor of Gohardasht Prison, helped perform scores of executions between July 30 and Aug. 16, 1988.
He was arrested within the Swedish capital in November 2019 and is charged with warfare crimes and homicide. Swedish authorities are prosecuting the 60-year-old Iranian utilizing the precept of common jurisdiction, which permits for the prosecution of grave crimes dedicated out of the country no matter whether or not the suspect is a Swedish nationwide.
Noury denies any involvement within the killings, in response to his lawyer.
In a press release, Reporters Without Borders praised the work of Swedish investigators and stated Noury’s trial “marks both the first time the Mullah regime’s crimes are being tried and the first time that the terrible massacres of 1988 are being tried.”
Numerous senior Iranian officers are accused of involvement within the mass executions, together with Iran’s new hard-line president, Ebrahim Raisi. Human rights teams say the previous judiciary chief helped facilitate the 1988 purge when he served on a four-man “death commission” appointed by Khomeini.
In June, the United Nations’ prime human rights investigator for Iran stated he backs a probe of Raisi’s involvement within the mass killings and his workplace would share proof with the UN Human Rights Council or some other investigative physique.