Aharonson Reportedly Was Hanged

A senior British correspondent who recently was in Iraq told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday that to the best of his information Dutch-born Jew Alexander Aharonson was hanged by the Iraqi military junta last November, as reported then in an Iraqi news agency dispatch from Baghdad. The Iraqi authorities claimed subsequently that Aharonson had been sentenced to death as an “Israeli spy” but that the execution had not been carried out.

The Iraqi authorities have rejected all attempts by The Netherlands government to ascertain Aharonson’s fate by establishing contact with him through a member of the Dutch Embassy staff in Baghdad.

(A spokesman for The Netherlands Foreign Ministry confirmed at a press briefing yesterday in Amsterdam that all efforts so far have been fruitless and that the Foreign Ministry was considering using other methods. The spokesman did not specify what those methods might be. The Iraqi authorities have in fact ignored most representations by the Dutch government over the past two-and-a-half months, claiming that the Aharon-son matter was an internal affair.)

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Amnesty International here told the JTA today that it had no information on Aharonson’s fate.

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