Iranian convicted of war crimes freed in Sweden prisoner swap

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An Iranian convicted in Sweden of war crimes has been freed as half of a prisoner swap between the 2 nations.

Hamid Noury, who was serving a life sentence, has returned to Tehran whereas Johan Floderus, a Swedish diplomat and twin nationwide Saeed Azizi arrived again in Stockholm late on Saturday night.

Mr Noury was arrested in Sweden in 2019 and convicted of involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in Iran greater than three a long time in the past.

Mr Floderus was detained in Iran two years in the past on prices of spying whereas Mr Azizi was arrested final November and sentenced to 5 years in jail.

Relations between Sweden and Iran have deteriorated since Mr Noury’s conviction.

Announcing the swap, Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Iran had made Mr Floderus and Mr Azizi “each pawns in a cynical negotiation recreation, with the purpose of getting Iranian citizen Hamid Noury ​​launched from jail in Sweden”.

He added: “He is convicted of severe crimes dedicated in Iran in the Eighties.”

Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday that Mr Noury had been “illegally detained” in Sweden however was now free.

Mr Noury was accused of committing war crimes and homicide in 1988 when, in accordance with Swedish prosecutors, he was assistant to the deputy prosecutor at Gohardasht jail in Karaj.

He was the primary individual to face prosecution for collaborating in the execution of hundreds of prisoners, which Iran’s institution has by no means formally acknowledged.

In 1988, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iraqi-backed leftist opposition group, had attacked Iran throughout the Iran and Iraq War.

Iran’s then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an order to execute all prisoners who had been loyal to or sympathised with the group.

Human rights teams estimate that between 2,800 and 5,000 men and women had been executed at websites, together with Gohardasht jail, between July and September 1988.

Mr Noury, 63, was arrested after arriving at Stockholm airport on a flight from Iran. He denied the costs in opposition to him however he was discovered responsible of “grave breaches of worldwide humanitarian legislation and homicide”.

He was tried beneath the precept of common jurisdiction which permits nations to prosecute folks for severe crimes in opposition to worldwide legislation that befell elsewhere.

This consists of war crimes, genocide, torture and crimes in opposition to humanity.

Mr Floderus, 33, was going through the demise penalty after his arrest in Iran in 2022 on accusations of espionage whereas he was on vacation.

Mr Azizi, an Iranian-Swedish nationwide in his early 60s, was discovered responsible of “assembly and collusion against national security”.

Oman helped negotiate the prisoner swap and performed a key position in the discharge of one other European nationwide final week. French banker Louis Arnaud was freed after two years in detention in Iran.

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