Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 29 – Iranian authorities on Saturday hanged an Iranian-Dutch woman despite calls by the Netherlands for a stay on the sentence.
Tehran, Jan. 29 – Iranian authorities on Saturday hanged an Iranian-Dutch woman despite calls by the Netherlands for a stay on the sentence.
Zahra Bahrami, 46, was hanged after she was convicted of “selling and possessing drugs”, the Tehran prosecutor’s office said in a statement, adding that she had been arrested for “security crimes”.
Bahrami was arrested in December 2009 after participating in anti-government protests while visiting relatives in Iran.
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal earlier this month expressed “extreme concern” about Bahrami, and said that he had “asked the Iranian authorities to provide immediate clarification” about her case. The Netherlands charged that Iran was refusing its embassy access to Bahrami. Authorities routinely execute dissidents on bogus charges such as armed robbery and drug trafficking.
Bahrami was born in Iran and later went to live in The Netherlands where she became naturalised as a Dutch citizen.
Iran has executed at least 90 people in January, a sharp rise compared to previous months, prompting EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton to express deep concern and call on Iran to “halt all pending executions immediately”. At least 10 prisoners were hanged on Thursday in Karaj, west of Tehran, and Orumieh, north-west Iran. Another 10 men were hanged in Karaj on 19 January.
On Monday Iran hanged Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Haj-Aghaie for taking part in anti-government protests in 2009 and supporting the main opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI). In December, Ali Saremi, a political prisoner of 24 years, was hanged on charges of visiting his son in Camp Ashraf in Iraq, where the PMOI is based. Earlier this month, a young Kurdish dissident, Hossein Khezri, met the same fate.