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Dutch protest Iran's execution of Dutch-Iranian woman

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The Netherlands recalls its ambassador after Iran hangs Zahra Bahrami
  • It says her remains were treated "disrespectfully"
  • Iran says she was a drug smuggler
  • Human rights campaigners suggest the drug charges were only a pretext to hang her
  • Iran
  • Netherlands

(CNN) -- The Netherlands recalled its ambassador from Iran, it said Monday, after Iran executed a Dutch-Iranian woman in spite of Dutch efforts to intervene in her case.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry feels Zahra Bahrami's remains were treated "disrespectfully" after she was hanged just over a week ago, a spokesman said.

"Her body was not returned to her family. Instead it was buried 400 kilometres from Tehran. Bahrami's family was informed at the very last minute," the spokesman said, declining to be named.

The Netherlands is summoning the Iranian ambassador over the case, and will protest officially with the Iranian foreign ministry, the spokesman added.

Iran hanged Bahrami in late January, saying she was a drug smuggler.

The Netherlands called it a "shocking act by a barbaric regime."

But the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran suggested the drug charges were only a pretext to execute her.

The campaign said Bahrami was originally charged with security offenses in the wake of widespread protests against the government over a controversial presidential election in June 2009.

Bahrami was accused of bringing cocaine into the country twice and selling it. Cocaine and opium were found during a search of her house, the semi-official Fars news agency reported January 29.

Her sentence also included 70 lashes and a $1,400 fine, Fars reported.

Fars added that during a search of her house, while she was charged with security crimes, 450 grams of cocaine and 420 grams of opium were discovered and, following further investigation, it was found that she had also distributed 150 grams of cocaine.

Iran denied Bahrami access to Dutch consular assistance and would not let Dutch officials attend her trial because Tehran did not recognize her dual citizenship, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands said on January 5.

CNN'S Bharati Naik contributed to this report.