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Netherlands: Dutch-Iranian woman executed in Iran

Zahra Bahrami

Zahra Bahrami

According to Dutch and international news media, Dutch-Iranian Zahra Bahrami has been executed in Iran after having been found guilty of drug-related crimes and sentenced to death on 2 January. She was arrested on 27 December 2009 when she reportedly attended an anti-government demonstration during a visit to Tehran.

The Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran wrote a letter to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs [en] in September 2010 urging them to make demands to Iran for her release. Amnesty International's Dutch section also took up Bahrami's cause [nl] under strong suspicion that Bahrami never received a fair trial. This morning, they reported the news of her execution on Twitter:

Nederlands-Iraanse Zahra Bahrami in Iran geëxecuteerd door ophanging (via @nrc) #doodstraf #bahrami nrc.nl/nieuws/2011/01…

Dutch-Iranian Zahra Bahrami executed in Iran by hanging (via [Dutch newspaper] @nrc) #deathpenalty #bahrami

Dutch Twitter users reacted to the news.

@voetvaeg writes [nl]:

SCHOKKEND: ondertussen heeft Iran de Nederlandse Zahra #Bahrami geëxecuteerd door ophanging! http://bit.ly/hKpnc5

SHOCKING: meanwhile Iran has executed Dutch Zahra #Bahrami by hanging! http://bit.ly/hKpnc5

Some people, like @VrolijkRechts, wanted to do more than just tweet [nl] about it:

Beste mensen. Hoe laat zijn jullie bij de Iraanse ambassade om jullie te laten horen? Of blijven wij boos twitteren? #Zahra #Bahrami

Come on everyone, what time shall we meet at the Iranian embassy to raise our voices? Or will we just post angry tweets about it? #Zahra #Bahrami

Others, such as @bobbraak, called on the Dutch government to take action [nl]:

vanmiddag om 17:00 uur gaat er vlucht naar tehran. Uri, die kan de iraanse ambassadeur mooi nog halen! #bahrami

There's a flight to Tehran at 5pm today. Uri [first name of Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs], the Iranian ambassador still has plenty of time to catch it! #bahrami

@Leon_Bosma puts things into perspective [nl]:

Veel verontwaardiging over #Bahrami. Zonder af te willen doen, wat maakt één staatsmoord zo belangrijk versus bv. de ruim 30 in #Egypte?

A lot of indignation about #Bahrami. Without taking anything away from this case, what makes one state murder this important compared to more than 30 in #Egypt?

@BartNijman is skeptical [nl] about the case:

Als op drugsdelicten in Iran de doodstraf staat, waarom zou voor een Iraans-Nederlandse dan wat anders moeten gelden? #bahrami #iran

If drugs-related crimes are a capital offence in Iran, then why shouldn't this apply to an Iranian-Dutch woman? #bahrami #iran

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran posted a reaction from Bahrami's lawyer [en]:

I am shocked. I was absolutely not informed about this. They should have informed her lawyer of the execution, but I had no idea. I don’t know what to say. Just that I am shocked.

On Saturday afternoon, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reported [nl] that the Iranian ambassador in the Netherlands has confirmed that Bahrami has indeed been executed, upon which the Netherlands immediately froze all ties with Iran. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uri Rosenthal, calls the case “a scandal, committed by a barbarian regime”.

Twitter hashtag: #bahrami

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