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Iran executes Swedish-Iranian dual national for 'terrorism'

May 6, 2023

Habib Chaab was convicted of "corruption on earth" for allegedly heading a rebel group and carrying out bombings, including one in Khuzestan in 2018. Sweden derided Iran's "inhumane" decision to execute him.

File image of a noose at a public hanging in Iran in 2007
Iran frequently uses the death penalty as a means to quell dissentImage: Allison Bailey/NurPhoto/picture alliance

Iran on Saturday executed Swedish-Iranian dissident Habib Farajollah Cha'ab for an alleged attack that killed dozens of people at a military parade in the southern province of Khuzestan in 2018. The execution was met by way of hanging. 

What do we know so far? 

"The death sentence for Habib Cha'ab... nicknamed Habib Asyud, the head of Harakat al-Nidal terrorist group... was executed today, Saturday morning," the judiciary's Mizan Online website said.

Iranian agents arrested Cha'ab in 2020 when he left Sweden for Turkey, taking him to Tehran without disclosing any other details.

In 2022, Iran started his trial on the charges of leading the separatist Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz and plotting and carrying out "numerous bombings and terrorist operations." The separatist movement, born in a region of minorities who have long complained of marginalization, seeks a separate state in the oil-rich Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran.

Chaab was convicted of "corruption on earth" for heading the rebel group and sentenced to death on December 6 of last year.

Iran upholds death sentence of German-Iranian

Sweden denounces 'inhumane' decision by Tehran

Sweden, meanwhile, voiced concern over Cha'ab's case and called the decision "inhumane."

The Scandinavian nation condemned the execution with the rest of the European Union, Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said in a tweet. "The death penalty is an inhumane and irreversible punishment and Sweden, together with the rest of the EU, condemns its application under all circumstances," it said. 

Iran's ties with Stockholm have soured in recent years. 

In 2022, a Swedish court handed a life sentence to a former Iranian official for involvement in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988 in the Islamic Republic.

Iran executes more people than any other country in the world, except China, according to rights groups such as watchdog Amnesty International.

mk/wd (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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