MEK Iran: Disturbing Testimony from the 1988 Massacre at Noury’s Courtroom
On Thursday, the trial of Hamid Noury, an Iranian prison officer accused of torturing inmates in the Gohardasht prison (Karaj) and taking part in the massacre of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, resumed in the District Court of Durres, Albania.
Noury was detained by Swedish authorities
During a trip to Sweden in 2019, Noury was detained by Swedish authorities and he is currently on trial in a courtroom where many of his victims are testifying about how he and other regime officials tortured prisoners. The massacre, which saw the regime execute over 30,000 political prisoners, was primarily directed against members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran).
Majid Saheb Jam, a former political prisoner who spent seventeen years in Iran’s prisons, testified about the atrocities that occurred there. Saheb Jam was in Gohardasht jail during the 1988 massacre, and he saw Noury and other regime officials play a direct role.
Prisoners were tortured as soon as they arrived
Saheb Jam testified that he was transferred from Evin prison to Gohardasht in early 1988. In 1986, prison officials began categorizing inmates based on their attitudes toward the MEK. Those who remained steadfast in their support for Iran’s opposition were sent to Gohardasht. They were tortured as soon as they arrived.
He also mentioned the ‘Death Commission,’ a group tasked with selecting which inmates would be spared the gallows and which would be executed. This commission included current regime president Ebrahim Raisi and former justice minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi. Political prisoners were summoned one by one by the Death Commission, who decided their fate in trials that lasted only a few minutes. Those who refused to denounce their support for the MEK were sent to the gallows.
Majid Saheb Jam, they sentenced me to death
Saheb Jam went on to describe his time in prison. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison at the outset, but he ended up serving 17 years: “In 1992 my father passed away. I received a furlough for my father’s funeral,” Saheb Jam said. “When I returned to prison, they said you recruited a college student during the funeral ceremony to join the MEK. They then sentenced me to death. Then the ruling was changed to life in prison, and then nine years in prison. Finally, I was released in 1999.”
A huge gathering of MEK sympathizers in a protest march
Several witnesses to the 1988 massacre and families of the victims gathered in front of the Durres court and spoke to the press about the Iranian regime’s crimes against MEK members and dissidents while the trial was underway.
Meanwhile, a huge gathering of MEK sympathizers attended a protest march in front of the court in Stockholm, where Noury and his lawyers are attending the trial via video conference. The activists want a wider tribunal that would include other perpetrators and organizers of the 1988 massacre, such as the regime president Ebrahim Raisi.
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.
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