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Thursday 18 December  
Zahra Bahrami
News Desk's picture
Tehran, Iran
Tehran, Iran

Iranian-Dutch woman Zahra Bahrami hanged in Iran

Published on : 29 January 2011 - 9:12am | By RNW News Desk (Photo: ANP)
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Reports from Iran say Iranian-Dutch woman Zahra Bahrami was hanged on Saturday for selling and possessing drugs. The authorities dismissed repeated pleas by the Netherlands which had sought details about her case.

Bahrami's execution is the latest in a slew of hangings carried out by the Islamic republic in January. Her execution takes the total number of people hanged in Iran so far this year to 66, according to media reports.

"A drug trafficker named Zahra Bahrami, daughter of Ali, was hanged early on Saturday morning after she was convicted of selling and possessing drugs," the Tehran prosecutor's office said.

Bahrami, a 46-year-old Iranian-born naturalised Dutch citizen, was reportedly arrested in December 2009 after joining a protest against the government while visiting relatives in the Islamic republic.

The prosecutor's office confirmed on Saturday that she had been arrested for "security crimes."

"Drug gang"
But elaborating on her alleged drug smuggling, the office said Bahrami had used her Dutch connections to smuggle narcotics into Iran.

"The convict, a member of an international drug gang, smuggled cocaine to Iran using her Dutch connections and had twice shipped and distributed cocaine inside the country," it said.

During a search of her house, authorities found 450 grams of cocaine and 420 grams of opium, the prosecutor's office said, adding that investigations revealed she had sold 150 grams of cocaine in Iran.

"The revolutionary court sentenced her to death for possessing 450 grams of cocaine and participating in the selling of 150 grams of cocaine," it said.

The Netherlands had been seeking details about Bahrami's case and had accused the Iranian authorities of refusing the Dutch embassy access to the prisoner because they did not recognise her dual nationality.

"I cannot confirm (her execution). Iranian media announced the news, we have not yet been approached by the Iranian authorities," Bengt van Loosdrecht, a Dutch foreign ministry spokesman, told AFP on Saturday.

Dutch concern
On January 5, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal expressed "extreme concern" about Bahrami, and said that he had "asked the Iranian authorities to provide immediate clarification" about her case.

"We insist on information, the possibility to provide her with consular assistance, and a fair course of justice," Mr Rosenthal said in a statement at the time.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, quoting Bahrami's daughter Banafsheh Najebpour, had reported earlier this month that Bahrami was awaiting trial in a second capital case in which she was accused of being in an armed opposition group.

Bahrami's execution brought the total number of people hanged so far this year in the Islamic republic to 66, according to an AFP tally based on media reports.

There has been a spike in hangings this year in Iran, especially of convicted drug smugglers.

The spate of executions has drawn criticism from Catherine Ashton, Europe's chief diplomat and the point person in talks between world powers and Iran over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

"The European Union is deeply concerned about the use of the death penalty in Iran. Executions are taking place at an alarming rate," she said on Thursday.

Ashton's statement came after Iranian state media on Thursday reported the hanging of 10 drug traffickers.

"In addition, abhorrent practices such as public executions and suspension hanging continue to be used, in contravention of Iran’s international obligations," added Ashton, restating the EU policy of global opposition to capital punishment.

Along with China, Saudi Arabia and the United States, Iran has one of the highest numbers of executions each year, with adultery, murder, drug trafficking and other major crimes all punishable by death.


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Anonymous 11 March 2013 - 10:11pm / pakistan

during my visit in 2001 and 2009 as pilgram iran i saw pushto speaking out the mazar of hzrat bebee mousoma they were beausy exchane of money but currency were fake, did irani government not see them? suerty they saw doing illegally exchange of money, why they did not take action against them?any way i also note in JIMKARANnthat one male were doing in love affairs to female, may be she came from village for ziarat, is it not crime?

Anonymous 13 August 2012 - 10:41pm / Iran.

You guys I'm iranian and this is whole drug thing is fake, She was protesting aganist the Brutal Islamic regime in iran so they planted drugs on her to hang her right away, this way people are less sympathtic, this happens all the time in iran! please help us Iranians get rid of this brutal regime i ask. Thank you to the world

Jackal 10 September 2012 - 6:02pm / Canada

First of All Canada has now closed it's embassy in Tehran and we have kicked the Iranian embassy out of Canada for spying on Iranian Canadians and reporting back to the authorities in Iran.
I wish peace and Justice for all the Iranian people.
The world is watching Iran and it is not pleased what the regime is doing to the innocents.
Peace to you brothers and sisters

Anonymous 22 February 2011 - 8:49pm / USA

There were no drugs it was just a smoke screen to kill here for daring to protest against the Government .

William Levinson 21 February 2011 - 8:27pm / United States

I agree that Iran's criminal regime executed this woman under false pretenses. However, I find the line "Along with China, Saudi Arabia and the United States, Iran has one of the highest numbers of executions each year" offensive.

Murder of another human being with aggravating circumstances (like robbery or rape), or high treason, is the only way to get the death sentence in the United States. Criminal regimes like those of China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia execute people for speaking against the government, belonging to the "wrong" religions or groups (e.g. Falun Gong in China), or what Sharia law defines as adultery (including being a rape victim).

Don't confuse the United States, which has a "1" (highest possible) civil rights rating from Freedom House, with despotic regimes whose civil rights ratings range from 6-7 (7 is the worst possible). Yes, we have the death sentence--reserved almost exclusively for those who violate another human being's natural right to his or her life.

Anonymous 2 February 2011 - 6:12am

and support it

Anonymous 2 February 2011 - 6:00am

qul hu wa lahu ahad ala huz samad lam jalied walam ju lad walam ja kul ahu kufuwan ahad

eveyrone knows the prayer ; this is just phonetics please some one translate !

Anonymous 2 February 2011 - 5:21am

you kwow what botheres me ? why they always go after the traffickers or users who in this case are victims themselves rather than creating a pact against illicit drugs; or legalizing it ; what's up with that ? why is it i cannot walk down the street in jamaica and trinidad smoking a joint (only weed) and i have no problem what so ever doing so in the netherlands ? so where the freedom really at ?

exploitation ; what are they trying to prove that drugs will get you killed ? no certainly not; the drugs did not kill her; people did.

so a big fat middle finger for her murderers; i hope you die the same way

i pray to ALLAH everyday to make sure of that

Anonymous 2 February 2011 - 4:54am


user avatar
knirb 2 February 2011 - 3:23am

jopie (and others)
Are you THICK?!
A woman is arrested after joining a political protest. How many drug smugglers would join a political protest?
You only have the word of the Iranian government that she was a smuggler. They hate protest, provided no evidence and rushed the “trial” through. You didn’t smell a rat, took their word at face value and make stupid remarks.
I’ll take the liberty of answering my own question because I’m sure you’ll get it wrong. Yes, you’re THICK!
Please give your reactions some thought before sharing them. You might make the world a somewhat better place.
My sympathies to Zahra Bahrami's family.

jopie 1 February 2011 - 10:25pm / Holland

I do not recognize her Dutch nationality, she should never have gotten a Dutch pasport. She was a drug-smuggler, a person who does not have feelings for the well-being of other people. Iran, in this case, has made the world a better place.

IranGovernmentsucks 31 January 2011 - 7:42pm / U.S. of A

Dutch people will never go to Iran or buy stuff they sell now.. R.I.P. Zahra you in a better place now.

Anonymous 1 February 2011 - 4:38pm

I very much hope the Dutch people stop traveling and selling their "stuff" to Iran. Specially if they where convicted of smuggling the "stuff" in the Netherlands before hand.

Iranpoopy 31 January 2011 - 7:38pm / Same as Paris Hilton

I fell bad for her daughter. i dont believe she smuggled drugs. im never going to Iran unless i want to die in my vacation. ill just go to Israel for vacation.

AnonymousDave 31 January 2011 - 7:32pm / Canada

Every time I turn on the TV I see and hear about the Middle East and I'm sick of it. And so are most Canadians. If I had my way I would load every last Middle Eastern onto a boat and once it got into International waters I would sink it.Iranians Iraq's what ever. there all the same. Even the Israel's. There will never be peace in the middle east. This bullshit has been going on sense the beginning of time. Thank god I'm not the US President because we would have a second moon orbiting the Earth.And I hope and pray that it happens soon. Then I can turn on the TV and not have too hear about be-headings, hangings, stoneings , Suicide bombings.Then there will be peace!!!!!! and QUIET!!!!!!!

Hiram1 31 January 2011 - 10:26pm

AnonymousDave, while we are sinking the ship on everyone let us not forget the English and French who stole my people's land in Mexico, U.S. and Canada. I speak on behalf of my people who let you come in and take over our lands.

Anonymous 31 January 2011 - 6:45am / Pakistan

This is simply wrong. I'm personally against death penalties, especially against women. I don't understand why some countries have such hardline laws such as death penalty for relatively minor crimes such as drugs smuggling.

Anonymous 30 January 2011 - 9:21pm

What about the regime in Rwanda? Why does the Dutch government support this regime? Ingabire is dying in prison. Double standaard of the West.

Anonymous 30 January 2011 - 8:33pm / GB
Anonymous 30 January 2011 - 6:03pm / you know

It is getting time to topple the Iranian leadership.

GHSR STUDIES & RESEARCH 30 January 2011 - 9:41am / United Kingdom

In Iran, foreigners are always convicted because of drugs possesion, drug dealing and/or because of spying in the country.

Iran still continues failing in providing evidence which show the their justification for hanging someone.

To GHSR, Iran is the world's most known country in seriously abusing the religion of Islam by interpreting latterly the text and carrying them out in practice whithout asking what each verse really means.

If Alla is God and God is also Alla, even the mullahs and the ayatollahs should known that every religion must be practice with clean hands. But, they still keeping their hands in blood.

AnonymousENCEL 30 January 2011 - 12:42am / Australia.

No one has a right to take someones life.It is a barbaric punishment and there are more humane punishment.With hanging someone's mother (Zahra bahrami)they must have hurt her daughter deeply.Anonymous Maria,Riet.

AnonymousENCEL 30 January 2011 - 12:42am / Australia.

No one has a right to take someones life.It is a barbaric punishment and there are more humane punishment.With hanging someone's mother (Zahra bahrami)they must have hurt her daughter deeply.Anonymous Maria,Riet.

Anonymous 30 January 2011 - 12:38am


I'm shocked to read your point of views.
I suggest you immigrate to a better country, i.e. IRAN !!!
Then you'll probably come to know for whom you should be sorry.

Hoyt 29 January 2011 - 4:53pm / Netherlands

If the drug charge was valid then she deserved to be hung. If she was hung for defying the government she knew, or should have known, what she was doing and the price she would have to pay if caught. Either way it's hard to feel sorry for her.

-Alex- 30 January 2011 - 1:52pm / Netherlands

Hoyt, your comment appears quite shallow to me.
If you believe that she was charged with drug smuggling because she really was a drug dealer and not because of her participation in the protests, then you just accept the official version of Iran's government. There's nothing wrong with it of course, but it's just shallow. You just believe what some authority tells you. If instead you want to bring your opinion to the next level, try to gather infos and try to understand what's really going on in Iran.

EricB 29 January 2011 - 10:26pm / Deutschland

Hoyt, first of all, no one deserves to be hung, regardless of the crime. She deserved a honest trial, with an independent judge, without prejudice, and with support of a capable lawyer, who can defend her without having to fear for his own life.

Anonymous 29 January 2011 - 6:10pm / Netherlands

This comment is highly innapropriate and I request it to be removed.

Hiram1 29 January 2011 - 7:24pm

"This comment is highly innapropriate and I request it to be removed."...The person didn't say anything "innapropriate. Your statement to suppress someone's opinion is far more dangerous in a free society than his/her's opinion. The woman who was executed was probaly executed because she spoke freely and the Iran government did like it. Is that what we do in the West, remove an opinion because it does not support or views/opinions? Are we just like the Iranians?

Anonymous 2 February 2011 - 6:11am

i agree with this comment

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