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Former Iranian Political Prisoner Gives Detailed Testimony at 50th Session of Hamid Noury’s Trial

Mohsen Zadshir, a former political prisoner, served 10 years in Iranian prisoners for supporting the MEK
Mohsen Zadshir, a former political prisoner, served 10 years in Iranian prisoners for supporting the MEK

The 50th session of the trial of former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury took place on Friday, December 10, at a court in Sweden. Noury was arrested in 2019 on a trip to the Scandinavian country and is being tried under the principle of universal jurisdiction for his active role in the Iranian regime’s crimes against humanity in the 1980s, most notably the massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.

 The majority of victims were members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said, “Noury’s trial began in August 2021 in Sweden, two years after he was incarcerated arriving in Sweden. A number of sessions of the trial were transferred to Albania in November per prosecutors’ demand to hear the testimonies of seven MEK members who are among thousands of MEK members in Albania since their relocation from Iraq in 2016.”

Mohsen Zadshir, a former political prisoner, served 10 years in Iranian prisoners for supporting the MEK. He testified in Noury’s trial, giving detailed accounts of what he witnessed when he was transferred to Gohardasht prison, where Noury was working at the time of the 1988 massacre.

Zadshir explained how Noury had asked him to spy on his inmates and report back to him, but he declined to do so. On another occasion, Noury demanded that he should wear a prison uniform, but as a political prisoner he wasn’t required to do so and once again declined Noury’s request.

During the months of which the massacre took place, Zadshir recalled how the guards would remove prisoners from their cells and take them down to the ‘Death Corridor’ to await their turn in front of the ‘Death Commission’, following which some were then taken to the ‘Death Hall’ to be executed by hanging.

The NCRI said, “The ‘Death Commissions’ consisted of four individuals who were tasked to identify the MEK supporters and sentence them to death once they refused to disavow their ideals. The ‘Death Hall’ was a large warehouse where prisoners were hanged in groups of 10 to 12.”

During his testimony, Zadshir explained how he witnessed prison guards taking large trucks, containing the bodies of those who had been executed, outside of the prison. 

He said, “I saw from [my cell] that it was full of bodies in large black plastic bags. I could see there were the victims in them. They had tied both ends of the bags. I start to shiver now when I recall those days.”

Chillingly, he also described how Noury and his fellow guards ‘were joyful and eating sweets’ and they led hundreds of people to the gallows to face their deaths. 

During each session of the trial, protests have taken place outside of the courthouse in Stockholm, attended by a large group of MEK supporters and some of the family members of the victims of the 1988 massacre, echoing calls for the rest of the Iranian regime to be held accountable for their roles in one of the worst crimes against humanity in the past four decades.

The NCRI said, “It should be noted that during his hearing sessions, Noury expressed that the MEK’s name in Iran is a ‘red line’, And using this name would even endanger Noury’s life, despite his loyalty to the Iranian regime.”