Sunday, January 30, 2011


Dutch freeze official ties with Iran over execution of Zahra Bahrami

The Dutch government on Saturday froze official ties with the Iranian regime after a Dutch-Iranian woman was hanged for alleged cocaine smuggling. The execution of 46-year-old Zahra Bahrami, a self-declared opponent of the Iranian government, was an ’outrage’ carried out by a ’barbaric regime,’ Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said. Prior to Rosenthal’s comments the Iranian ambassador to the Hague had confirmed that the execution took place on Saturday. Bahrami who was visiting her child in Iran, had taken part in protests against the regime of Iranian regime’s President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad in December 2009 and was arrested shortly afterwards. The cocaine-smuggling charges were raised only later on and despite her rejection, she was hanged after enduring more than 70 lashes. Her lawyer was shocked to hear the news for she was expecting the court session would continue over the bogus drug charges.

10 prisoners executed on Thursday

On Thursday January 27, the Iranian regime executed collectively seven prisoners in Karaj’s Qezel-Hessar prison, west of Tehran. Three other prisoners were also hanged in Urumieh Central Prison, northwestern Iran, according to Irna news agency. The number of executions announced by the Iranian regime in the first 27 days of 2011 has reached 89. These numbers are unprecedented in comparison to previous years. The execution of political prisoners under the pretext of ordinary crimes is a well-known tactic used during the clerical regime’s 3-decade long rule.

Zahra Kazemi’s son can sue Iran

Canadian press reported: Quebec’s Superior Court has ruled that Stephan Hashemi alone can sue Iran for the death of his mother, photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. The latest legal battle pitting the family of slain photojournalist Zahra Kazemi against the Iranian government has ended in a draw. ‘We’re delighted that Stephan’s recourse has been allowed to proceed against all the defendants but by the same token we’re disappointed the estate’s recourse has been blocked by the State Immunity Act.’—Kurt Johnson, lawyer for Kazemi family. It’s a mixed result in a case that has been inching its way through Quebec Superior Court since 2006.

The court ruling comes after a battle in which the Iranian government attempted to block the Kazemi family from suing for $17-million — arguing it was immune from legal action in Canada. Iran argued the State Immunity Act prevents foreign governments from being sued civilly on Canadian soil, with very few exceptions. “Mr. Hashemi endured this traumatic prejudice while he was residing in Canada and this is sufficient to trigger the exception,” Mongeon wrote. Kazemi was an Iranian-Canadian citizen who was beaten, raped and killed in 2003 after being arrested for photographing relatives of detainees outside Evin prison in Tehran. She was never formally charged with any crime and was quickly buried in Iran. Stephan Hashemi has tried unsuccessfully to have his mother’s body back in Canada. Ottawa has had shaky relations with Iran since Kazemi’s death and has routinely voiced its displeasure with officials in that country over the handling of the case and their lack of transparency.