Zahra Bahrami Is A Cautionary Tale For Egyptian Revolutionaries
On December 27, 2009, Bahrami a 46-year-old Iranian-born naturalised Dutch citizen was arrested in Iran. It was during the Ashura protests against an allegedly rigged Presidential vote.
The Dutch learnt of the arrest and wanted to speak with their citizen. The Iranians refused. It does not recognise dual nationality.
In August 2010, Bahrami was charged with belonging to a pro-monarchist group – presumably one hankering for the days of the Shah, when people were tortured and abused by an elite placed in power by God’s will (see – pre and post-Revolutionary Iran are not so different).
Bahrami was, in official parlance, accused of being a Mohareb – an enemy of God.
Held for months without access to her family, a lawyer or Dutch consular assistance, she was reported to have “confessed” on television to “forming an [illegal] group with three others”, possessing weapons and planning or engaging in acts against national security, and to have ‘confessed’ to having contact with two banned organizations, the Anjoman-e Padeshahi-e Iran (API), and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).
On September 4, 2010, her lawyer, one Nasrian Sotoudeh, was jailed in Iran. His apparent crime was to have fomented “propaganda against the state”.
A short while after reports arrived that drugs had been found in Bahrami’s home. Drugs carry the death penalty.
The prosecutor’s office said Bahrami had used her Dutch connections to smuggle narcotics into Iran.
While she was in jail, police searched of her house. They claim to have found 450 grams of cocaine and 420 grams of opium.
The office said:
“The revolutionary court sentenced her to death for possessing 450 grams of cocaine and participating in the selling of 150 grams of cocaine.”
She had form:
In 2003 she was caught with nearly 16 kilos of cocaine in her luggage. Bahrami received three years imprisonment with a probation.
On Jan 6, Bahrami was sentenced to death by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.
But why was she in jail in the first place?
An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that during Zahra Bahrami’s detention, her interrogation team was the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’s Anti-Espionage Team. Therefore the possibility that her initial charges were drug-related is nil.
Now she is dead. And Iran did not tell the Dutch nor her lawyer.
The Netherlands froze official contacts with Iran, saying it had informed The Hague just hours earlier that legal proceedings were still under way. A Dutch foreign affairs ministry spokesman called the execution “an act committed by a barbaric regime”.
Zahra Bahrami’s execution brings the total number hanged in Iran so far this year to 66.
You want revolution in Egypt? But what comes next..?