Iran General NewsDutch envoy in Iran summoned over woman's hanging

Dutch envoy in Iran summoned over woman’s hanging

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AFP: Iran on Sunday summoned the Dutch ambassador after comments by The Netherlands over the hanging for drug smuggling of an Iranian-Dutch woman who was arrested after anti-government protests in 2009.

TEHRAN, January 30, 2011 (AFP) – Iran on Sunday summoned the Dutch ambassador after comments by The Netherlands over the hanging for drug smuggling of an Iranian-Dutch woman who was arrested after anti-government protests in 2009.

Zahra Bahrami, a 46-year-old Iranian-born naturalised Dutch citizen, was reportedly arrested in December that year after joining a protest against the government while visiting relatives in the Islamic republic.

She was hanged early on Saturday.

Ambassador Cees J. Kole “was summoned to the foreign ministry and notified of our nation’s protest at the interfering comments made by this country’s foreign minister,” media quoted an Iran foreign ministry statement as saying.

Dutch foreign ministry spokesman Bengt van Loosdrecht told AFP on Saturday after the hanging that Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal “was profoundly shocked by the news, he called it an act committed by a barbarous regime.”

“The Netherlands has decided to freeze all contacts with Iran,” he added.

On Sunday, Kole was reminded about Iran’s law on drug trafficking, the ministry said, adding: “A warning about the support of the Dutch government for the criminals and interfering in domestic affairs of our country was given.”

The statement said the Dutch envoy was told that “the Iranian judiciary is independent and all citizens of the Islamic republic are equal in the eyes of the law.”

The prosecutor’s office in Tehran confirmed on Saturday that Bahrami had been arrested for “security crimes.”

But elaborating on the drug smuggling charge, the office said Bahrami had used her Dutch connections to bring narcotics into Iran.

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi on Sunday echoed the Iranian foreign ministry in calling on The Netherlands not to interfere in its domestic affairs.

“In a search of her home cocaine was found and the judge therefore sentenced her to death. We are judges, not diplomats, but the Dutch government should know that it has no right to interfere in other nations’ affairs,” the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

Adultery, murder, drug trafficking and other major crimes are all punishable by death in Iran.

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