UN High Commissioner welcomes “historic conviction” of perpetrator of Iran’s 1988 massacre

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has welcomed the “historic conviction” of former Iranian prison guard Hamid Noury in Sweden for his role in the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran.

She urged states to use “universal jurisdiction” to bridge the “accountability gap” for serious crimes and ensure truth and justice.

Under Sweden’s application of universal jurisdiction, Stockholm’s District Court on 14 July 2022 handed down a landmark judgement, sentencing Noury to life imprisonment for his role in the 1988 massacre.

Hamid Noury, acting as Deputy Assistant Prosecutor of Gohardasht Prison in 1988, was a junior figure in the massacre. Meanwhile, senior Iranian officials involved at the time, including current President Ebrahim Raisi, who in 1988 was a member of the Tehran Death Commission that sent thousands of political prisoners to death, continue to evade responsibility and enjoy impunity.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a tweet on 15 July 2022:

UN Human Rights Chief @mbachelet hails historic conviction of former Iranian official by Swedish court for his role in 1988 summary executions of political opponents. States should use universal jurisdiction to bridge accountability gap for serious crimes & ensure truth+justice.