Sweden summons Iranian envoy over detained citizens

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Sweden’s foreign ministry said Wednesday that it had summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires, calling for the release of “arbitrarily detained” citizens in Iran, adding that authorities had learned of more Swedes being arrested.

“Sweden’s demands for the immediate release of the Swedish citizens arbitrarily detained in Iran, consular access to detained citizens and respect for international commitments on consular matters were stressed at the meeting,” Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“The government has heard reports of further arrests of Swedish citizens,” it added.

“In late 2023, a man with Swedish and Iranian citizenship was detained for no apparent reason,” it continued, without adding further details.

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Relations between Sweden and Iran have soured after a Swedish court sentenced a former Iranian prison official, Hamid Noury, to life in prison over mass executions in 1988.

On December 19, a Swedish appeals court confirmed the life sentence for Noury, 62, who was convicted of “grave breaches of international humanitarian law and murder” over his role in the killings of at least 5,000 prisoners during a 1988 purge of dissidents in Iran.

The next day, Iran summoned Sweden’s charge d’affaires to protest the sentence.

Earlier in December, Sweden’s EU diplomat Johan Floderus went on trial in Iran on charges of conspiring with Iran’s arch-enemy Israel.

Floderus, 33, was arrested on April 17, 2022, at Tehran airport as he was returning to Iran from a trip with friends.

His arrest came while Noury was being tried by a Swedish court that handed down the life sentence in July 2022, which was later appealed.

In May 2023, the Iranian-Swedish dissident Habib Chaab was executed following a conviction of “corruption on earth.”

Academic Ahmadreza Djalali, another Iranian-Swede, was arrested in Iran in 2016 and sentenced to death on espionage charges. He remains under threat of execution.

On Monday, Sweden’s foreign ministry also confirmed that a Swedish man in his 20s had been detained in Iran in early January.

But according to Swedish media reports the man was the subject of an international warrant relating to a Swedish murder case.

The foreign ministry declined to comment on the details of that case.

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