The 17th session of Iranian regime official Hamid Nouri’s trial in Sweden took place last Friday, after being apprehended by Swedish authorities during his trip to the country.
Nouri is being charged with the torture of prisoners in Iran and taking part in the 1988 massacre where thousands of political prisoners were executed, many of whom were supporters of the MEK.
As one of the authorities of Gohardasht Prison (Karaj), Nouri is now standing trial in a court where many of his victims are giving harrowing testimonies of how he and other regime officials brutally tortured prisoners.
At this latest session in the trial, Akbar Bandali, a former political prisoner in Iran and a supporter of the MEK, gave his testimony to the court. Bandali was arrested during his military service in the summer of 1981 for his support of the Iranian Resistance group.
In his testimony, Bandali recalled that the year before the massacre in 1987, another prisoner had questioned Nouri as to why they were being transferred to the ‘Jahad’ ward. Nouri’s response was ‘We want to execute the prisoners who are up there’. Bandali also confirmed that plans for the massacre had been set in motion in 1987.
During the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime carried out the swift and brutal execution of more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly MEK members and supporters. The purge was directly ordered by Ruhollah Khomeini in an edict that explicitly stated that anyone supporting the MEK is an enemy of God and deserves to be executed.
Bandali was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison, but only served 13 years of his sentence, during which time he was brutally tortured on many occasions. He spoke at Nouri’s trial about how MEK prisoners were called before the ‘Death Commission’ during the summer of 1988, where they were tried in a court of judges for a few minutes before being led to their deaths if they refused to denounce the MEK. The Iranian regime’s new president Ebrahim Rais was one of the judges of the death commission in Tehran.
During his time in Evin prison, Bandali recalled witnessing the violence and torture subjected on other inmates, and how when the 1988 massacre started, he saw the bodies of the prisoners who had been executed, wrapped in sheets, were constantly being carried out to waiting for trucks to be transferred for mass burials.
There was an IRGC guard on top of the truck and we saw the corpses being loaded into the back of the truck. I felt sick. I was going to explode from sadness.
Bandali testified that Nouri was the leader of guards who beat prisoners. On one occasion, when Nouri had realized that Bandali’s knee was hurt, he tortured him on the same spot and beat him violently.
During the court session in Sweden, a protest rally took place in front of the court building calling for senior regime officials, including Raisi and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, to be prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. All the protesters at the rally were Iranian, many of whom were family members of the victims of the 1988 massacre.
The 1988 massacre has been described as a war crime and crime against humanity. Legal experts also recognize it as a “genocide” and should be addressed by international tribunals.