UN expert hails landmark verdict in Iran universal jurisdiction case – Center for Human Rights in Iran
Welcoming a landmark conviction by universal jurisdiction in Sweden against Hamid Nouri, an Iranian official accused of mass atrocities, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran said today: “The process and the verdict in Sweden constitute a historic and important step forward in the pursuit of truth and justice. for a dark chapter in Iranian history. It is also a clear signal that denial, despite substantial evidence, and impunity can no longer be tolerated.
Read all UN press release below.
GENEVA (15 July 2022) – The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javaid Rehman, today welcomed the conviction of an Iranian official by a Swedish court for his involvement in summary executions and enforced disappearances against political dissidents in 1988 .
Hamid Nouri was arrested at a Stockholm airport in 2019 and charged with war crimes for his involvement in the mass execution and torture of political prisoners in Iran in 1988 based on an order issued by Iran’s Supreme Leader. Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini. At the time, Nouri was a prosecutor and head of the prison. Civil society organizations estimate that several thousand political prisoners were executed.
The court found Hamid Nouri guilty of war crimes and murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
“The trial and verdict in Sweden is an important and historic step forward in the pursuit of truth and justice for a dark chapter in Iranian history. It is also a clear signal that denial, despite substantial evidence, and impunity can no longer be tolerated,” Rehman said.
The Swedish principle of universal jurisdiction allows its courts to try a person for serious charges such as murder or war crimes, regardless of where the alleged offenses took place.
“I urge other states to undertake similar investigations and prosecutions of serious human rights violations in Iran using the principles of universal jurisdiction. There is a serious lack of accountability for past and present gross violations of human rights law, and domestic courts in other states play a fundamental role in filling this void,” the expert said.
“Along with my predecessors and colleagues in the special procedures, I have repeatedly called for accountability for the summary executions and enforced disappearances of 1988 and have sought to engage with the authorities in this regard,” said the Special Rapporteur.
“However, the events continue to be denied by the Iranian authorities. I hope this verdict is a first step towards full truth, justice and compensation for the victims, their families and civil society organizations who persist in their demands for justice”.
Mr. Javaid Rehman was named third Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran since the reinstatement of the mandate in July 2018. Mr Rehman is Professor of International Human Rights Law and Muslim Constitutionalism at Brunel University London. Mr. Rehman teaches human rights law and Islamic law and continues to publish widely on the topics of international human rights law, Islamic law and constitutional practices of Muslim majority states.
Special rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special procedures of the Human Rights Council. The Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the United Nations human rights system, is the general name for the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific national situations or issues themes in all regions of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
UN Human Rights, country page: Iran