Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Iranian woman, arrested after taking part in anti-government protests in Iran, has been hanged

Sahra Bahrami, 46, was born in Iran but later gained Dutch citizenship. She was hanged for drug smuggling, according to Iranian officials. Bahrami was jailed for a year after being arrested for joining a protest in 2009, while visiting relatives. Dutch officials had said they were extremely concerned about her case. Her execution brings the total number hanged in the country so far in 2011 to 66, according to media reports. During a search of her house, authorities claim to have found 450g of cocaine and 420g of opium, the Tehran prosecutor's office said. "A drug trafficker named Sahra Bahrami, daughter of Ali, was hanged early on Saturday morning after she was convicted of selling and possessing drugs," the office said. It added that Bahrami was a member of an international drug gang who smuggled cocaine into the country using her Dutch connections. But Bahrami's daughter has been quoted as telling the New York-based rights group International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the drug charges were fabricated. "She doesn't even smoke cigarettes, let alone possessing drugs. How could someone who participates in [post-]election gatherings and endangers her life, engage in such actions against her country?" she is quoted as saying. Bahrami's lawyer has expressed shock at the news. "I am bewildered as to how my client's death sentence was issued while her security charges had not yet been reviewed," Jinoos Sharif is quoted as telling the group. Dutch officials were denied access to her because Tehran does not recognise her dual nationality.

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