Video: Dutch news roundup, 4 February 2011
Dutch national Zahra Bahrami is executed in Iran. The growing popularity of the party drug GHB is leading to more addicts. The search for a missing man in France galvanizes the Dutch community there.And a school in Utrecht finds itself in the middle of the debate on the role of Islam in Dutch society.
45-year old Zahra Bahrami held both Dutch and Iranian citizenship. In 2009, she was arrested in the Islamic Republic while participating in anti-government protests which followed the controversial re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Later she was convicted of drugs smuggling, and sentenced to death. But at no point in the process were Iranian authorities willing to recognise her Dutch citizenship. Bahrami's friends and family say she was killed for her political views, even though she was also convicted of drugs smuggling in the Netherlands in 2003. The Dutch Foreign Ministry has frozen diplomatic relations with Iran, and the Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has called Bahrami's trial a farce.
The dark side of GHB
For a certain segment of the population, a night out partying goes hand in hand with substance abuse. Alcohol is the most common drug of choice, but hard drugs such as cocaine, xtc, and speed can also be found in Dutch nightlife. In recent years though, gamma hydroxybutric acid (GHB) has become more popular, largely because it is far cheaper than other hard drugs and widely available. For a few euros, GHB can give a user a strong feeling of euphoria for an entire evening. But it appears that GHB has a dark side that is equivalent to heroin, in that the substance is extremely addictive.