Prosecutors have charged an Iranian national for war crimes and murder over his role in mass executions on behalf of the Iranian Islamist regime in 1988.
Swedish prosecutors stated that the 60-year-old man had been arrested after landing at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport in late 2019. He was charged on Tuesday in relation to the murder of over 100 political prisoners.
The suspect is believed to have worked as an assistant to the deputy prosecutor at Gohardasht prison and allegedly took part in war crimes during the final months of the Iran-Iraq war, Deutsche Welle reports.
Victims of the mass executions are said to have been members of the People’s Mujahedeen, a dissident political faction that sided with Saddam Hussein-led Iraq during the war and wanted to overthrow the Islamist regime of Ayatollah Khomeini.
“The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, shortly afterwards issued an order to execute all prisoners held in Iranian prisons who sympathized with and were loyal in their convictions to the Mujahedeen,” Swedish prosecutors stated. They added that between July 30th and August 16th of 1988, many prisoners were executed at Gohardasht prison.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 24, 2018
Iraj Mesdaghi, one of the plaintiffs in the case and a former political prisoner of the Iranian regime, told Swedish broadcaster SVT: “This is such an incredibly important event for us: for all the mothers, fathers, families, and other relatives of people who have fallen victim to the Iranian regime. These crimes have never been tried before. I am very grateful that it is finally happening.”
Prosecutor Kristina Lindhoff Carleson said: “Violations of international law have been deemed so serious that no matter where they are committed or by whom, national courts should be able to hear such cases. Due to Sweden having universal jurisdiction for international law crimes, we have both an opportunity, but also a certain obligation, to prosecute these crimes.”
The case is likely the largest international war crimes case to take place in Sweden but is not the only war crimes case in recent years.
In January of last year, it was revealed that prosecutors had engaged in at least ten war crimes investigations of returning members of the Islamic State. Earlier this year, it was announced that six female Islamic State members who had returned to Sweden were also suspected of participating in war crimes.
Sweden: Islamic State Returnees Investigated for War Crimes https://t.co/MUuZm8iXZS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 15, 2020