News and Announcements

Read the latest updates from Harm Reduction International

Iran carries out 'mass execution' of drug offenders

28 July 2008

Yesterday, the government of Iran hanged twenty people convicted of drug offences . These executions took place at the Evin Prison, north of Tehran. In total, 29 persons were hanged on Sunday in the what the state broadcaster described as the largest mass execution carried out in the country in recent years. The executions took place after… Read more

International Remembrance Day 2008

24 July 2008

On Monday the 21st of July, over 50 people gathered in Kennington Park, London to commemorate International Remembrance Day - a day to remember those who have died as a direct or indirect result of drug use and/or drug policies. Thanks to the dedicated staff of Black Poppy Magazine and GLADA Women’s Voices, this was the first time the event… Read more

Harm Reduction International at The Swedish Drug Users Union's Seminar in Gotland

13 July 2008

While Harm Reduction International and other harm reduction advocates were debating at Beyond 2008 in Vienna , I attended a seminar on harm reduction and human rights, organised by the Swedish Drug Users’ Union . The seminar, which attracted over 40 participants, including representatives from three of the main political parties, was held as… Read more

Day 3 - Beyond 2008 NGO Forum on Drugs: NGO Declaration approved with strong harm reduction and human rights content

10 July 2008

The final day of the ‘Beyond 2008 NGO Forum’ continued discussion and debate over the wording of a civil society Declaration on drug use to be submitted to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Again, much debate took place between a small number of primarily US-based anti-drug groups, who consistently opposed insertions of references… Read more

Day 2 - Beyond 2008 NGO Forum on Drugs: NGOs call upon CND to abandon 'The Spirit of Vienna'

08 July 2008

During Day 2 of the 'Beyond 2008 NGO Forum', delegates agreed unanimously that the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs should abandon the so-called 'Spirit of Vienna', CND's self-imposed consensus decision-making process , and instead vote on contentious issues. Democratic majority voting, which is mandated under ECOSOC rules where consensus… Read more

Day 2 - Beyond 2008 NGO Forum on Drugs: 'Harm Reduction' language adopted over opposition of prohibitionists

08 July 2008

Despite the broad support for harm reduction demonstrated during Day 1 of the 'Beyond 2008 NGO Forum', harm reduction revealed itself to be controversial, at least among a small but vocal contingent of the delegates meeting in Vienna. Near the end of the first day of debate on the language of NGO resolutions to be submitted to the… Read more

Day 1 - Beyond 2008 NGO Forum on Drugs: Harm Reduction receives broad support

07 July 2008

This week in Vienna, over 300 NGOs from around the world, including Harm Reduction International, are meeting for 'Beyond 2008 - A Global Forum on the 1998-2008 Review of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Illicit Drugs'. The purpose of the Forum is to develop recommendations to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and… Read more

“Drug traffickers must be executed immediately” – Indonesia plans to speed up executions for drug offences

30 June 2008

Indonesia has used this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to execute two Nigerians for heroin smuggling . They are the first people to be executed for drugs in the country in four years. Despite pleas for clemency from the Nigerian Government, Samuel Iwachekwu Okeye, 37, and Hansen Anthony Nwaoysa, 40, were… Read more

Methadone Legal under the UN Drug Conventions, according to...the UN Drug Conventions!

19 June 2008

Over the past week, the HR2 team has been reading through our recently arrived (and notoriously difficult to obtain) copies of the Official Commentaries on the 1961, 1971 and 1988 UN Drug Conventions, as well as the Commentary to the 1972 Protocol amending the 1961 Convention. These four volumes, each several hundred pages in length, are… Read more

Day 2 - UN High Level Meeting on AIDS: AIDS activists call for humane drug policies

12 June 2008

On Day 2 of the UN High Level Meeting on AIDS, a group of civil society organisations including Harm Reduction International collaborated to draft an open letter to senior UN officials to raise concerns about the UN-sponsored International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26th. According the UNODC, goal of the… Read more

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