Dutch Iranian saved from death penalty

6th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

30 June 2003 , AMSTERDAM — The government has succeeded in saving a Dutch terrorist of Iranian descent from the death penalty in the Islamic Republic.

30 June 2003

AMSTERDAM — The government has succeeded in saving a Dutch terrorist of Iranian descent from the death penalty in the Islamic Republic.

In response to protests from the Dutch government, Iranian authorities confirmed last week the man's death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment, Dutch associated press ANP reported.

A spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that based on the government's opposition to capital punishment, the Netherlands always works to save Dutch nationals from the death penalty in other countries.

Newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported at the weekend that the man was recruited from Leeuwarden in the north of the Netherlands to join the Iranian opposition movement, Mujahedeen Khalq. He travelled in 1997 to Iraq, before crossing the Iranian border.

He was arrested on 13 April 2000 in connection with two failed assassination attempts on a former Iranian minister. The then Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Jozias van Aartsen was informed of the arrest during a visit to Iran in May 2000.

The EU considers Mujahedeen Khalq to be a terrorist organisation. The movement was known in the Netherlands as Solidarity with Iranian People (SIM), but was forced to leave the country in 2002 under pressure from the Dutch government.

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