EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

Iran and Sweden swap prisoners: a diplomat for a judiciary official

 Head of Mission of the Embassy of Sweden in Tehran Lars Ronnås with Swedish citizen Johan Floderus in a courtroom at the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, Iran. Dec. 20, 2023
Head of Mission of the Embassy of Sweden in Tehran Lars Ronnås with Swedish citizen Johan Floderus in a courtroom at the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, Iran. Dec. 20, 2023 Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AP
Published on
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Iran released a Swedish diplomat arrested in 2022, whilst Sweden released an Iranian official convicted of war crimes in 1988.

ADVERTISEMENT

Iran and Sweden carried out a prisoner swap on Saturday that involved the release of Hamid Nouri, who was convicted of war crimes by Sweden over mass executions that took place in 1988.

In exchange, Iran released Johan Floderus, a Swede who had been working for the European Union's diplomatic corps, as well as a man identified as Saeed Azizi by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

In 2022, the Stockholm District Court sentenced Nouri to life in prison over his role in the 1988 executions. It identified him as an assistant to the deputy prosecutor at the Gohardasht prison outside the Iranian city of Karaj.

The 1988 mass executions came at the end of Iran’s long war with Iraq. After Iran’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini accepted a United Nations-brokered cease-fire, members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, heavily armed by Saddam Hussein, stormed across the Iranian border in a surprise attack.

International rights groups estimate that as many as 5,000 people were executed. Iran has never fully acknowledged the executions, apparently carried out on Khomeini’s orders.

Supporters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran protest outside Stockholm's district court on the first day of the trial of Hamid Noury, in Stockholm, August 2021.
Supporters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran protest outside Stockholm's district court on the first day of the trial of Hamid Noury, in Stockholm, August 2021. AP

Floderus' family said he was arrested in April 2022 at Tehran airport while returning from a holiday with friends. His detention represented yet another case of Tehran using foreigners or those with dual nationalities as pawns in negotiations with the West.

Azizi's case was not as prominent as Floderus'. In February, the group Human Rights Activists in Iran reported that the dual Iranian-Swedish national had been sentenced to five years in prison by Tehran's Revolutionary Court on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security.” The group said Azizi has cancer.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Call for release of Swedish prisoner on anniversary of Iran detention

'Pawn in a political game': Sister of EU diplomat captive in Iran calls for his release

Iran accuses jailed Swedish EU employee of crime punishable by death