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Sentenced Dutch-Iranian Woman Allowed Visit In Tehran Prison

Zahra Bahrami
A Dutch-Iranian woman sentenced to death in Iran on multiple charges has been allowed a visit from her daughter in Tehran's Evin prison, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Zahra Bahrami was arrested after participating in Ashura (December 27, 2009) protests against the Iranian regime. She was sentenced to death last month after being found guilty of possession and distribution of drugs and other charges.

Her daughter, Banafsheh Nayebpor, said those charges include setting up an antigovernment organization; membership in an unnamed monarchist organization; and spreading antiregime propaganda.

Bahrami has denied all the charges against her and said that she confessed under severe torture.

Nayebpor told Radio Farda on January 19 she was allowed to visit her mother the previous day.

"I was allowed to meet her on [January 18] at Evin for about 20 minutes and I could tell that she was extremely scared," Nayebpor said.

Nayebpor said the charge of possession and distribution of drugs "was present in the case, but my mother denied this charge in court, telling the judge that she had confessed to this charge under pressure."

"It is surprising for us that besides all her political charges and despite being kept in the political prisoners' section at Evin, she has been tried and sentenced on charges of possessing drugs," Nayebpor said.

Nayebpor said her mother also denied belonging to a monarchist organization. She said that "Anjoman Padshahi (The Royal Association) has released a statement confirming that Zahra Bahrami had no affiliation whatsoever with the organization."

"My mother did participate in the protests and did give interviews to foreign media, but she was most definitely not a part of any monarchist organization," Nayebpor said.

Nayebpor said that Tehran's chief prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, told her about two months ago she should avoid giving any interviews to the media about her mother's situation.

"Mr. Dolatabadi promised to cooperate with me and told me that he would be available for me should I feel the need to discuss the matter with him, but after that he rejected all my requests for such a meeting," Nayebpor said.

Nayebpor said her mother's lawyer has asked her to beg for an amnesty, but she will not do so because "we do not accept the charges. Amnesty is for those who plead guilty and accept the charges against them."

Nayebpor told Radio Farda: "We have contacted the Dutch Embassy in Iran asking for their assistance in the matter and they have assured us of all the cooperation that they can offer."

"I will do everything in my power to save my mother," she said.