Swedish man released from Iran proposes to boyfriend upon landing

Johan Floderus set free alongside Saeed Azizi in exchange deal that saw Stockholm release convicted war criminal Hamid Noury

Johan Floderus kneels down and proposes to his boyfriend at Arlanda airport near Stockholm, Sweden, June 15, 2024. (Tom Samuelsson/Regeringskansliet via AFP)
Johan Floderus kneels down and proposes to his boyfriend at Arlanda airport near Stockholm, Sweden, June 15, 2024. (Tom Samuelsson/Regeringskansliet via AFP)

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – A Swedish man freed in a rare prisoner swap with Iran proposed marriage to his boyfriend just minutes after his return home, the government and his family said Tuesday.

In a video released by the government, Johan Floderus goes down on one knee in front of his partner minutes after landing at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport on Saturday.

In the video, his boyfriend replies “yes,” and the two then kiss and hug and can be heard crying, with Floderus’s family, the prime minister and other government officials applauding in the background.

“After two long years, I am finally a free man, reunited with my family, and engaged to be married,” Floderus said in a statement released by his family on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old EU diplomat also extended his thanks to all who “made this possible.”

“The dream that I sometimes did not dare to dream has come true – to be back home with my loved ones and live my life in freedom,” he said.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (C) addresses the media as he stands next to Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom (L) and Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer (R) during a press conference after the release of two Swedish citizens from an Iranian prison as part of a prisoner exchange with Iran, in Stockholm, June 15, 2024. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP)

Floderus was arrested in Iran as he was about to return home from a holiday in April 2022. He was accused of espionage, for which he risked a death sentence.

He and another Swedish citizen, Saeed Azizi, were released Saturday in exchange for Hamid Noury, a 63-year-old former prison official in Iran who was handed a life sentence in Sweden in 2022 for his role in mass killings in Iranian jails in 1988.

A Swedish court had convicted Noury of “grave breaches of international humanitarian law and murder.” Noury claimed he was on leave during the period in question.

Swedish officials have defended their decision to issue a pardon for Noury amid criticism from exiled Iranians in Sweden, among others.

In their statement, Floderus’s family said “our hearts go out to the other innocent prisoners who are still suffering in Iranian prisons.”

Another Swede, Ahmadreza Djalali, an academic with dual Swedish-Iranian citizenship, has been on death row in Iran since 2017 after being convicted of espionage.

A flyer during a protest outside the Iranian embassy in Brussels for Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian academic detained in Tehran for nearly a year and reportedly sentenced to death for espionage, February 13, 2017. (Dirk Waem/Belga via AFP)

His wife has criticized the Swedish government for not including him in the prisoner swap, though Swedish authorities say Iran refuses to discuss the case as the Islamic Republic does not recognize dual nationality.

Most Popular
read more: