Iran and the Death Penalty for Drugs

Date: 13 May 2011

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In a bizarre outburst, the Secretary General of the Iranian Supreme Council for Human Rights accused Europe of failing Iran in the war on drugs and even acknowledged in frustration that its draconian drug laws were hurting its international reputation, according to a published report.

After being challenged on Iran's skyrocketing execution rate, Secretary General of the Iranian Supreme Council for Human Rights, Mohammad Javad Larijani, told reporters in Pretoria, "The number of executions is high because 74% of those executed are of drug traffickers who traffic drugs from Afghanistan to Western European countries."

... Larijani said the death penalty would be reviewed only if the West participated in fighting the war against drug trafficking. "We cannot win this war alone. If Europe is interested in the prevention of the trafficking of drugs, then it should participate in this war."

The other option was for Iran to ignore drug trafficking.

"We can close our eyes and drug traffickers can pass through Iran and go wherever they want to go and the number of executions in Iran will drop 74%. In fact, it will be very good for our reputation then."

His figure of 74 percent is somewhat consistent with Harm Reduction International's research. According to Iran Human Right's extremely informative annual report, 66 percent of executions were for drug related offences however Harm Reduction International sources have said the Iranian government claims that figure is actually as high as 90 percent.

Click here to read the story and for more on the death penalty for drugs see Harm Reduction International's report 'The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2010.'

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