Hamid Noury

17.04.2023 ( Last modified: 31.03.2023 )
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Ongoing appeal for war crimes committed in Iran in 1988

Type of jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction


Hamid Noury, former assistant to the deputy prosecutor at the Gohardasht prison in Karaj, Iran

Country of residence of suspect

Iran, arrested when travelling to Sweden


War crimes; murder

Current status

Convicted; sentenced to life imprisonment; awaiting appeal


In 1988, during the war between Iraq and Iran, Iran’s leader Rouhollah Khomeini issued an order (fatwa) to execute all prisoners who supported the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, an outlawed opposition group, as well as leftist prisoners.

Prisoners at the Karaj prison were brought before so-called “death commissions” which ordered their arbitrary execution. The number of victims is unknown but estimated to be between 2’800 and 5’000 prisoners according to Human Rights Watch. Many of those killed were subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment.

Noury, in his role of assistant to the deputy prosecutor, was convicted for having played an active role in these massive executions by retrieving prisoners, bringing them to the death commissions and escorting them to the execution site.


Noury was arrested on 9 November 2019 while traveling to Sweden.

On 13 November 2019, the Court allowed his pre-trial detention which was renewed several times as the investigation was ongoing.

On 10 August 2021, Noury’s trial opened in Stockholm.

On 9 November 2021, the Stockholm District Court moved to Durres, Albania for two weeks to hear seven witnesses.

Developments in 2022

After 92 days of hearings, on 14 July 2022, the Stockholm District Court established that the crimes committed against sympathizers of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran began with the Mojahedin’s cooperation with the Iraqi army in the international armed conflict between Iran and Iraq, which triggered the application of international humanitarian law. Therefore, the Court found Noury guilty of war crimes as crimes against international law for his involvement in the mass executions of sympathizers of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, and for murder for the executions of left-wing sympathizers who were deemed to have renounced their Islamic faith. Noury was sentenced to life imprisonment. Compensation for injury was also awarded to close relatives of executed prisoners and to surviving prisoners.

In August 2022, both Noury and the prosecution appealed the conviction. The appeal trial will start in January 2023.

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