Iran and Sweden comply with a prisoner swap together with Hamid Nouri | EUROtoday

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Iran and Sweden have agreed to launch two Swedish nationals, together with a European official held in Tehran for over two years, in trade for an Iranian convicted of struggle crimes over the mass killing of Iranian prisoners in 1988.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson tweeted Saturday that Swedish residents Johan Floderus and Saeed Azizi had been “released after being imprisoned without reason by Iran.”

“The Swedish government has worked intensively for them to be released,” he continued. “Today, they will land on Swedish soil and be reunited with their families and loved ones. Welcome home!”

An Iranian official confirmed the discharge of Hamid Nouri, writing on social media that he would arrive in Iran within the coming hours and saying that he had been held “illegally” in Sweden.

The freed prisoners had been transferred from Tehran and Stockholm to Oman, which mediated the deal, on Saturday forward of their return to their respective nations, Oman’s Foreign Ministry wrote on social media.

Nouri was arrested in Sweden in 2019 and later convicted of struggle crimes over the mass execution of political prisoners in Iran in 1988, below the precept of common jurisdiction, a authorized precept that some crimes are so grave that territorial restraints on prosecutions shouldn’t apply. Nouri was the primary Iranian to be tried and convicted utilizing that precept.


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He was given a life sentence in 2022, in what Amnesty International described on the time as “an unequivocal, and long overdue, message to the Iranian authorities that those responsible for crimes against humanity in Iran will not escape justice.”

Human rights teams accused Iran’s late President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash final month, of a task in the identical killings. Amnesty International stated Raisi was a part of “death commission” that, on Khomeini’s orders, “forcibly disappeared” and executed hundreds of dissidents in prisons close to Tehran in 1988.

Floderus, a 33-year-old Swedish nationwide and official working for the European Union, was arrested as he ready to depart Iran after a non-public vacationer journey with buddies in April 2022. The European Union’s high diplomat, Josep Borrell, referred to as for his speedy launch late final yr, arguing that Floderus was “arbitrarily detained in Iran.”

Azizi, whose case was not as excessive profile as the opposite prisoners concerned within the swap, was arrested in November 2023, in accordance with the Swedish prime minister. The activist information company HRANA reported in March that Azizi has most cancers and had been sentenced to 5 years in jail.

“Iran has made these Swedes pawns in a cynical negotiation game with the aim of getting the Iranian citizen Hamid Nouri released from Sweden,” Kristersson stated, in accordance with the Associated Press. “It has been clear all along that this operation would require difficult decisions, now the government has made those decisions.”

Borrell on Saturday welcomed Floderus and Azizi’s launch and pledged to “continue to work” to free different E.U. residents held in Iran.

Agnes Callamard, the secretary common of Amnesty International and former U.N. particular rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, stated in December that one other Swedish nationwide, Ahmadreza Djalali, was “at risk of execution in retaliation” for Sweden’s conviction of Hamid Nouri.

Last yr, the United States and Iran freed 10 folks in a prisoner swap. Five Americans, together with twin nationwide Siamak Namazi, who had been detained in Iran for nearly eight years, had been launched, whereas the U.S. authorities freed 5 Iranians and unblocked the switch of $6 billion in frozen Iranian oil funds.

Other international and twin nationals stay imprisoned in Iran, together with U.S. residents, with activists and relations arguing that many are being held on spurious costs for diplomatic leverage.