Sweden detains Iranian on suspicion of murder in Iran in 1988

Police members are seen at Malmo central station after shooting a man for "threatening behaviour" according to law enforcement, Malmo, Sweden June 10, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 13 November 2019

Sweden detains Iranian on suspicion of murder in Iran in 1988

  • Human rights groups say the Islamic Republic executed thousands of political detainees in the late 1980s

STOCKHOLM: A 58-year-old Iranian citizen has been arrested in Sweden on suspicion of murder in Iran in 1988, prosecutors said on Wednesday, and national news agency TT said the case involved killings of political prisoners.
Human rights groups say the Islamic Republic executed thousands of political detainees in the late 1980s. Many of them belonged to opposition groups. Iran denies having political prisoners or having executed any such prisoner.
The prosecutor’s detention request said the man was arrested on Nov. 9 after what TT said was his arrival to visit relatives. He was remanded in custody Wednesday pending a decision by Dec. 11 on whether he should be formally charged and put on trial.
TT said the man was suspected of playing a leading role in a prison in Karaj, a city west of the Iranian capital Tehran, where many detainees were executed in 1988.
The man’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment. The lawyer told TT the man denies the allegations.
Iranian officials have denied the late 1980s killings took place. However, in 2016 a 28-year-old audio tape surfaced in which Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the deputy Supreme Leader of Iran at the time, said the executions were the “biggest crimes committed by the Islamic Republic.”
Amnesty International said in a report last year that the lowest estimates put the number of executed at around 5,000.


Iran records highest COVID-19 cases in over month

Updated 11 min 15 sec ago

Iran records highest COVID-19 cases in over month

  • Latest count takes the total cases identified in Iran since late February to 314,786
  • Iran made wearing masks mandatory in enclosed spaces

TEHRAN: Iran confirmed Tuesday over 2,700 new COVID-19 infections, its highest single-day count in more than a month, as the health ministry called for those without masks to be fined.
Deaths and infections from the novel coronavirus have been on a rising trajectory in the Islamic republic since hitting a months-long low in May.
This has prompted Iran to make wearing masks mandatory in enclosed spaces and reimpose restrictions lifted gradually since April to reopen the economy.
Despite the rule, people without masks can still be seen inside the capitals’ shops and banks, and state television often criticizes them for doing so.
“In the past 24 hours, new confirmed cases were reported to be 2,751,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in televised remarks.
The number is the highest since June 5, when the ministry reported 2,886 infections in one day.
The latest count takes the total cases identified in Iran since late February to 314,786, Lari added.
Another 212 people died from the virus during the past 24 hours, bringing the overall toll to 17,617.
Iran’s deputy health minister called for those who fail to obey the mask rules to be fined, as the only penalty currently in place is the refusal of service in public places.
“Deterrent methods must naturally be used, one of which is fining those not wearing masks,” ISNA news agency quoted Iraj Harirchi as saying.
But those “financially unable to buy masks must be exempted,” he added, without elaborating how that could be determined.
Iran has suffered a sharp economic downturn since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation.
It has seen a drop in non-oil exports compounded by a tumbling currency and runaway inflation, piling new pressure on those already dependent on government cash handouts.
Masks in Iran cost from about 15 US cents for simple surgical ones to 68 cents for multilayered ones with respirators, while the minimum wage is currently $2.60 per day.