The United States has called on the Iranian government to halt executions based on flawed judicial processes that lacked transparency and had questionable motives.
The call by the U.S. comes after the execution late last month of an Iranian-born, naturalized Dutch citizen, Zahra Bahrami. Ms. Bahrami was arrested after anti-government demonstrations in 2009. Later, she was charged with drug trafficking. Reportedly she was tortured to confess to crimes which she later denied, and neither her daughter nor her lawyer was informed before she was hanged. Ms. Bahrami is one of several people recently executed in Iran who were arrested during protests that followed Iran's disputed presidential elections.
A spokesman for Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal called the hanging of Ms. Bahrami a "shocking act of a barbaric regime," and the Dutch government has frozen ties with Iran.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement that the U.S. is "deeply concerned that Iran continues to deny its citizens their human rights" and is "particularly troubled by the recent execution of Dutch-Iranian national Zahra Bahrami, who was denied access to Dutch consular officials. Her execution", Mr. Crowley said, "is one of dozens carried out in recent weeks amid serious questions about the motives of the Iranian government and whether these prisoners were granted their rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United States urges the Iranian government to halt these executions and to guarantee the rights of its citizens in accordance with its international obligations."