Iran denies death sentence for activist

Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxine Verhagen told MPs on Tuesday afternoon he has received assurances from the Iranian authorities and their ambassador in the Netherlands that no death sentence has been passed on Dutch human rights campaigner Abdullah Al-Mansouri.

Reports that Al-Mansouri could face execution within 48 hours emerged from his son Adnan Al-Mansouri yesterday but have not been independently confirmed.
In a reaction to Verhagen’s assurances, Adnan Al-Mansouri told ANP news service that he does not believe the denials given by Iranian authorities. ‘It’s clear that Iran is afraid of losing face. That’s why they’re now saying this,’ he said.
Adnan Al-Mansouri (35), who lives in Maastricht, also told ANP that he has lodged a complaint with police claiming that he is being threatened by Iranians. Police declined to say whether Adnan is to be given police protection.
On Tuesday morning the former Dutch foreign affairs minister Ben Bot said he is prepared to go to Iran to plea for an amnesty for Al Mansouri who has been sentenced to death. Abdullah Al-Mansouri was awarded an honour for his human rights work by Queen Beatrix. He was given refugee status in the Netherlands in 1989 but was arrested during a trip to Syria last year.
According to the Volkskrant, the Dutch foreign affairs ministry knew about the death penalty two weeks ago.

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