Netherlands freezes contact with Iran over hanging of Zahra Bahrami
The Netherlands froze diplomatic ties with Iran following the execution of Iranian-Dutch woman yesterday for drug charges after initially arresting her for participation in anti-government protests.
Uri Rosenthal, the Dutch foreign minister expressed profound shock regarding the hanging of the 46-year-old Zahra Bahrami calling it “an act committed by a barbarous regime,” AFP reports.
Dutch diplomats were denied any access to Bahrami since Iran does not recognize dual citizenship.
The Iranian ambassador in the Netherlands was summoned yesterday by Uri Rosenthal. After receiving confirmation that Bahrami was executed in Tehran, the Dutch ministry spokesman announced that “the Netherlands has decided to freeze all contacts with Iran.”
Zahra Bahrami was arrested in December of 2009 during the protests to alleged fraud in the presidential elections and executed in Tehran on January 29 on a conviction of “sale and possession of drugs.”
International Campaign for Human Rights reports that according to an unidentified “knowledgeable sources” the interrogators of Zahra Baharami in the first weeks of her arrest were “an anti-espionage team,” therefore it is clear that her charges at the time the arrest were security charges.
The report adds tat Bahrami was subjected to “physical and psychological torture” in the initial stage of her arrest in order to “submit to a televised confession of the scenario that they had written out for her.”
Tehran prosecutor’s office wrote in ther website that they had discovered 450g of cocaine and 420g of opium at Bahrami’s home and it was established that she had sold 150g of cocaine.” They did however admit that Bahrami was initially arrested on security charges without any further explanations.
Zahra Bahrami’s daughter who was in shock following the news said: “Weren’t they supposed to inform her family and her lawyer before executing her; we should have gone and seen her. Did I not have the right to see my mother before she was executed?”
Bahrami’s lawyer also expressed surprise regarding her client’s hanging and told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that she was not informed of the execution.
The execution of Zahra Bahrami on Saturday brings the total number of people hanged in Iran so far this year to 66 which translates into on average more that two executions a day.