MEHR: Iran's top rights official has lambasted the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran for hailing the conviction of an Iranian citizen by a Swedish court.
In a tweet on Friday, Kazem Gharibabadi, the deputy chief of the Iranian judiciary and secretary of the High Council for Human Rights, termed Javid Rehman’s remarks “extremely disappointing”.
“It is extremely disappointing that Javid Rehman has chosen to publicly support arbitrary detention and sham trial of an Iranian citizen instead of calling out the Swedish authorities and holding them to account for the gross violations of fundamental human rights of the victim,” he said.
In his statement earlier on Friday, Rehman hailed the conviction of Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary official who was sentenced to life by a Swedish court on Thursday over charges of participating in the execution of jailed dissidents in the late 1980s.
Nouri, who was arrested upon arrival at the Stockholm Airport in November 2019, has been held in solitary confinement for over two years.
He has vehemently rejected allegations leveled against him at the behest of the MEK terrorist group.
“The process and verdict in Sweden constitute a landmark and important leap forward in the pursuit of truth and justice for a dark chapter in Iranian history. It is also a clear signal that denial, despite substantive evidence, and impunity can no longer be tolerated,” Rehman said.
“I urge other States to take on similar investigation and prosecution of serious human rights violations in Iran using principles of universal jurisdiction. There is a serious accountability gap for past and present gross violations of human rights law, and national courts in other States play a fundamental role in filling that gap,” he hastened to add.
Gharibabadi said Rehman’s press statement “in support of a grave injustice” was “yet another indication of his inherent inclination to use his UK-sponsored mandate for a self-aggrandizing campaign to please Iran's adversaries at the cost of sacrificing the basic principles of human rights.”
In a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights last week, Gharibabadi expressed his “deep concern” about gross human rights violations committed by the Swedish authorities against Nouri.
“I request you to take all necessary measures to hold Sweden accountable and to prevent further violations and to secure the release of Mr. Nouri,” he said in the letter addressed to Michelle Bachelet.
On Thursday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani rejected the Swedish court’s verdict as “unacceptable”, which he said was based on unfounded allegations made by the MEK terrorist group.
Kan’ani strongly condemned the “politicized verdict” based on “baseless and fabricated” allegations against Iran, its judiciary system, and Hamid Nouri.
Referring to the atrocities of the MKO terrorists against the people of Iran and Iraq, the spokesman expressed deep regret that Sweden, despite having a good history of ties with Iran, has succumbed to the “malicious objectives” of MKO’s propaganda, making its judiciary system serve the “criminal goals” of the group, and practically engaged in “whitewashing terrorism.”
“While vehemently protesting the ruling of the court which lacks any legal jurisdiction and basis, Iran holds Sweden responsible for the damage caused to bilateral ties because of the trial," Kan'ani said.
The controversial verdict came days after Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian spoke to his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde, demanding the release of the former Iranian official, saying relations between the two sides "should not be affected by (MEK) propaganda".
The MKO group has been responsible for numerous assassinations and bombings of top-ranking Iranian officials since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
One of the biggest attacks carried out by the group was the 1981 bombing of the Islamic Republic Party’s headquarters in Tehran, which killed Iran’s then-judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Hossein Beheshti, and 72 others, including lawmakers and ministers.
The group members fled Iran in 1986 to Iraq, where they enjoyed the patronage of former Iraqi military dictator Saddam Hussein.
The group, now based in Albania, was on the US government’s list of terrorist organizations until 2012. Since being de-listed, the group leader Maryam Rajavi has forged close ties with western officials.