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Swedish Prosecutors Charge Iranian With War Crimes For 1988 Prison Executions

Hamid Nouri

Swedish public prosecutors have charged a 60-year-old Iranian citizen with suspected war crimes committed in Iran in 1988 when around 5,000 political prisoners were executed on government orders.

Prosecutors said that the man worked in July-August 1988 as an assistant to the deputy prosecutor in the Gohardasht prison outside the Iranian city of Karaj and allegedly took part in atrocities there.

The accused man maintains his innocence, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors didn’t reveal the identity of the suspect, but he has widely been identified as former Iranian prosecutor Hamid Nouri.

Swedish public broadcaster SVT said he was arrested in November 2019 when he arrived in Sweden and has been held in custody since.

The 1988 killings targeted members of the Iranian People’s Mujahedin, a political-militant organization that advocated overthrowing the leadership of Iran and installing its own government.

The group was cooperating with the Iraqi Army, which was at war with Iran at the time, the Swedish prosecutors said, adding that Iran’s then-supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued an order for the execution of all prisoners in Iranian prisons who sympathized and remained loyal to the Mujahedin organization.

Due to that order, a large number of prisoners were executed in the Gohardasht prison between July 30 and August 16, 1988, the prosecutors said.

The man's trial will start on August 10 and is expected to last until April next year, prosecutors said.

With reporting by Reuters and AP
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