In a large gathering held in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday, July 16, supporters of the Iranian Resistance celebrated the historic ruling of the Stockholm district court, which sentenced Hamid Noury, an ex-official in Iran’s Gohardasht prison, to life in prison.
Noury was being tried for his role in the massacre in the summer of 1988 of 30,000 political prisoners, 90 percent of whom were members and sympathizers of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Noury was convicted of committing serious crimes against international law and murder.
This is the first time that an Iranian official has been tried and convicted for his role in the 1988 massacre and it can set a precedent for other regime officials that were involved in this and other heinous crimes.
While the participants expressed their support for the outcome of the trial, which lasted over 33 months and 92 hearings, they stressed that justice has yet to be met.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said, “Of course, we welcome the ruling…. However, full justice will be only done when all the masterminds and perpetrators are prosecuted in the Iranian people’s courts. That includes Ali Khamenei, Ebrahim Raisi, Hossein-Ali Nayeri, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, and others.”
Mrs. Rajavi stressed that one step has been taken in the path to Call for Justice Movement. “However, it must continue until all the regime’s leaders and officials face justice,” she added. “I want to be clear: Genocide, crime against humanity, and massacre must be recognized – with precisely these legal terms– by national and international courts and the UN Security Council. And international investigation must be carried out in the presence of the representatives of the Iranian Resistance.”
Kenneth Lewis, one of the lawyers of the plaintiffs in the Noury case, said, “34 years ago, when the regime was forced to end the war with Iraq, it feared that the people of Iran would punish them for carrying out this slaughter for such a long time. That’s why Khomeini issued a fatwa to execute all supporters of the PMOI who continued their support for the organization. This led to the execution of probably some 30,000 prisoners. Although the news reached the world, the regime denied that the massacre occurred. They not only denied it, but they tried to hide the evidence by hiding the mass graves where the victims were buried.
“Now, 34 years later, a court of law in a democratic country held a trial for 92 days, where Hamid Noury was prosecuted for his role in this massacre. The judgment is historic not only because Noury was sentenced to life in prison, but because the court confirmed that the massacre of prisoners has actually occurred as we have claimed for years and years. The court states that it has refrained from pointing out the names of others who were responsible for this crime and were not on trial. But when you read the decision, you’ll see the names of some of the key perpetrators, including Ebrahim Raisi, who himself was a member of the Death Commission. The court has clearly stated that there was no legal basis for Khomeini’s fatwa under Iran’s laws or international law.”
Lewis said that one of the key characteristics of the trial was the testimonies of the survivors and witnesses of the 1988 massacre, which shed light on the mass role that regime leaders played in this crime against humanity.
“Aside from Noury’s role, many of these testimonies included others’ roles, including [Hossein-Ali] Nayeri, [Mostafa] Pourmohammadi, [Morteza] Eshraghi, and [Ebrahim] Raisi. The mullahs’ regime is clearly declared to be one of the greatest violators of human rights in the world. With this verdict, it is possible to hold Raisi and Khamenei responsible for crimes against humanity,” Lewis said.
Former European Parliament VP Alejo Vidal-Quadras described the ruling as the “victory for justice and truth against opportunistic policies.”
At the same time, Vidal-Quadras also warned that this court case underlines the need to adopt a firm policy against the mullahs’ regime, especially as the Belgian government is entertaining a deal with Tehran that will facilitate the repatriation of a convicted diplomat terrorist back to Iran.
“It was proven in court that the Iranian dictatorship is an outlaw political system that inflicts the worst atrocities to its people. No more appeasement. No more dialogue. No more negotiations. The rulers of Iran are a bunch of murderers that should not be accepted as members of the international community.
The message of the Stockholm court must be listened to by the Belgian Parliament that should not accept a treaty of impunity for another criminal, Assadollah Assadi. Assadi must stay in prison for the rest of his life,” Vidal-Quadras said.