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Stockholm: Justice


I. The tale of the deceased

In January 2023, the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm, Sweden, began hearing the appeal of an exceptional case—one dealing with crimes against humanity. For the first time, a participant in Iran’s 1988 massacre of political prisoners, during which nearly 4,000 inmates were hanged within a few weeks, was facing justice. This case is based upon universal jurisdiction. It’s a provision of international law that allows certain crimes to be considered so serious that prosecutions are required to occur beyond national borders. Hamid Noury (an ex-Iran prison official) was sentenced by the Stockholm district court to life imprisonment in July 2022 after a two year trial in which 26 witnesses, 12 experts and 35 accusers testified. Noury hopes to appeal the decision with a new team of defense attorneys.

Even before September 2022, the trial was an important event. The trial’s significance has grown in light of the protests in Iran over the past months. Iranians demand an end to dictatorship and express a deep desire for justice and the rule law. Whether the protestors succeed at overthrowing the regime ,…

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