Hamid Noury: IRI perpetrator given life sentence in Sweden for being involved in 1988 mass executions

Hamid Noury, former Iranian prison official has been sentenced to life sentence by Stockholm District Court after being convicted of war crimes and murder.

The Stockholm District Court found that Hamid Noury had taken part in mass execution of political prisoners in the prison of Gohardasht in 1988 during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. The court announced the sentence On 14 July 2022.

The 61-year-old was found guilty of participating “in the executions of hundreds of political prisoners in Iran in the summer of 1988.” He was also convicted over the murders of other left-wing sympathisers who were deemed to have renounced their Islamic faith.

It is the first time that an Iranian official has been tried and convicted for the mass execution of opponents in 1980s.

At the time, Noury had been working as a deputy prosecutor at the Gohardasht prison near the Iranian city of Karaj. He was arrested in November 2019 when he arrived at Stockholm airport.

Life sentence in Sweden is the highest sentence that can be given to a prisoner. The life sentence in Sweden does not have a time limit, but the defendant can request a final sentence after a period of ten years or so. According to the severity and weakness of the crime, the court decides on this matter. If the court decides to give him/her a definitive imprisonment sentence, the final sentence that the court may issue will be 15 to 18 years according to Swedish law. However, in the Swedish judicial history, in a few cases, the court has not accepted the prisoner’s request to finalize his/her sentence. There are few prisoners in Swedish prisons who have committed serious crimes, received life sentences, and are still in prison after thirty years. If a final sentence is given, the prisoner will be released after serving two-thirds of his/her sentence. Generally, a prisoner in Sweden is released after serving two-thirds of his/her sentence, regardless of the type of crime and his sentence.

The court has described Hamid Noury’s crime as serious. If the Swedish government does make a deal with the IRI to extradite him, it is possible that his sentence will not be finalized and he will remain in prison.

If the court decides to finalize Noury’s sentence, for instance after ten years and sentences him to fifteen or eighteen years in prison, including the ten years he has spent in prison, he will be released after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

If they give him a definitive sentence of eighteen years after ten years, he will be released from prison after twelve years considering the ten years he was in prison;    He will be released from prison two years after his sentence. If he is eventually released, he will be expelled from Sweden.

Hundreds of Iranian dissidents including family members of the victims and former political prisoners who survived the mass executions and had gathered in front of the Stockholm District court at the time the Noury’s sentence was announced, celebrated and cheered the sentence.

Here is a scene of their joy upon hearing Hamid Noury’s sentence.