EU condemns Iran's hanging of Dutch woman

31st January 2011, Comments 0 comments

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemns Iran's hanging of a Dutch-Iranian woman for drug smuggling and urges Tehran to halt all executions, her spokeswoman said Monday.

Ashton was "dismayed" that Iraniam authorities denied Zahra Bahrami any access to consular officials before her execution and failed to ensure a "fair and transparent judicial process," said spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.

Concerned about a "steep increase" in executions, the 27-nation bloc's chief diplomat wants Iran to "halt all pending executions immediately and declare a moratorium on the death penalty," Kocijanci told a news briefing.

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

She was later charged with drug trafficking. Authorities said they found cocaine and opium in her house.

The Netherlands announced it was freezing its contacts with Iran after Bahrami was hanged on Saturday.

© 2011 AFP

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