The British Committee for Iran Freedom welcomes the verdict of the Swedish District Court on 14 July, which led to the sentencing of a former official of the Iranian regime, Hamid Noury, to life imprisonment for involvement in the massacre of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 in Iran.

We share our welcome with the Iranian democratic resistance movement, PMOI/MEK and the NCRI. It is a vindication for the victims of the massacre and their families, who have been waiting for justice  for more than three decades. It is also a first step towards holding to account others involved in systematic human rights violations in Iran and ends the culture of impunity that has seen the perpetrators  rewarded and appointed to high positions in the ruling regime, rather than  being subjected to the rigour of the law.

The court was clear in its verdict:

"The accused was in the role of assistant to the deputy prosecutor at the Gohardasht prison in Karaj, Tehran, jointly and in collusion with others, involved in the executions, which took place after a fatwa from the clerical regime’s then Supreme Leader, Khomeini.

"The first wave of executions was directed at sympathisers of the People's Mujaheddin Organisation of Iran. The acts have been deemed as a serious crime against International  law."

The verdict leaves little doubt that the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iranian prisons in 1988 was a state-sanctioned crime ordered by the regime's highest authority to eliminate its legitimate democratic opposition and dissidents.

Hamid Noury's conviction reaffirms that those responsible for the extrajudicial executions in 1988 have committed a crime and should be prosecuted. This includes Iran's current president, Ebrahim Raisi, whose involvement in the 1988 massacre is well documented and reported by the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran and respected NGOs such as Amnesty International.

We reiterate our call on the UK Government to recognise the 1988 massacre in Iran as a crime against humanity and genocide and proscribe the perpetrators of these atrocities.

We also urge the UK Government to work with our allies at the UN to establish and secure an independent investigation into the 1988 massacre with a view to holding accountable the perpetrators.  The investigation should consider the role of Ebrahim Raisi and Ayatollah Khamenei, the current supreme leader of the regime.

This is an action cross-party MPs and Peers in the United Kingdom Parliament have recommended on multiple occasions, including EDM615 of November 2021.

British Committee for Iran Freedom

18 July 2022