Given the international attention to the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, condemned to execution for adultery, there was little notice of another woman sentenced to death in Iran.
Zahra Bahrami, an Iranian-Dutch national, was ordered to hang on drugs charges. Her condemnation, by the "hard-line" Judge Abolqasem Salavati, occurred on Sunday, but it was only yesterday that her daughter, Banafsheh Najebpour, felt it was safe to inform the media.
There has no evidence presented publicly to support the allegations against Bahrami. Instead, it appears that, having returned to Iran to see one of her children, she was caught up in the regime crackdown over the December 2009 demonstrations on the religious day of Ashura. Bahrami was tucked away in prison, with little information about her status --- for months, not even the Dutch Government could establish her citizenship --- and about the legal process.
Bahrami has also been charged with mohareb (war against God), which carries the death penalty. Salavati said she would soon face a trial on that allegation.
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal called on Tehran on Wednesday for "information, the opportunity to provide consular assistance and a fair trial", saying he was "very concerned" about Bahrami's fate.
Dutch diplomats have been denied access to Bahrami, as Iran does not recognize her dual nationality.
Najebpour summarised in a radio interview:
I am devastated. What has my mother done wrong for heavens sake? I just don't understand it.