The Netherlands has recalled its ambassador to Iran over the execution and burial of Iranian-Dutch citizen Zahra Bahrami.
Dutch News quotes a foreign ministry official saying the ambassador will issue a formal protest to Iran’s foreign ministry before returning to The Hague this week.
The Netherlands froze all diplomatic contacts with Iran after Bahrami, a 45-year-old Iranian-Dutch woman, was hanged on drug charges, after being first arrested for security reasons.
Bahrami’s family maintains that the drug charges were fabricated and she was actually arrested for participation in the 2009 anti-government protests.
Dutch News notes that some Iranian blogs and websites have said Bahrami actually died under torture, and the announced hanging was a ruse to cover up the truth.
After refusing to release Bahrami’s remains to her family, Iranian authorities gave her a secret burial last week and barred the family from attending.
Last week, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal summoned Iran’s ambassador in The Hague to demand explanations in Bahrami’s case.
The Dutch ambassador in Tehran had been similarly summoned by Iran’s foreign ministry on January 30, the day after the execution, to warn him against “Dutch interference in Iran’s internal affairs and support for criminals.” Iran announced that it “will not allow drug smugglers to violate the law with the support of foreign countries.”
Iran does not recognize dual citizenship and maintains, therefore, that the Netherlands has no grounds on which to interfere in an internal criminal affair.
Bahrami was executed on Saturday January 29 on drug charges while the security charges against her had not yet been processed.
Her daughter and lawyer were not informed of the execution.