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    HRW Calls on UN to Stop Iran Anti-Drug Fight Over Increased Death Sentences

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    Iran's anti-drugs laws presuppose a death sentence for manufacturing, trafficking, possession or trade of large quantities of certain drugs. Despite recent calls for reform by the chair of Iran's Human Rights Council, executions of those charged with drug-related crimes continue.

    MOSCOW, December 17 (Sputnik) — The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) should rescind its support for Iran's narcotic enforcement agencies amid an increasing number of death sentences for drug-related offenses in the country, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other rights groups said in a letter made public on Wednesday.

    The letter, sent to UNODC Chief Executive Yury Fedotov last week, stated that some 318 people have been executed for drug trafficking in 2014 alone.

    The rights defenders called for a "temporary freeze or withdrawal of support", which, as the groups pointed out, is stipulated in the UNODC human rights guidance in case a country continues executions for drug-related crimes, despite high-level political intervention.

    "As Iran executes alleged drug offenders in ever-greater numbers, it beggars belief that the UN sees fit to continue funding Iranian anti-drug operations," Maya Foa, head of legal charity Reprieve said, as quoted on the HRW website.

    Iran's anti-drugs laws presuppose a death sentence for manufacturing, trafficking, possession or trade of large quantities of certain drugs. According to HRW, capital punishment for drug-related offenses is not appropriate. Despite recent calls for reform by the chair of Iran's Human Rights Council, Mohammad Javad Larijani, executions of those charged with drug-related crimes continue.

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    Tags:
    death sentence, drug trafficking, UN, Human Rights Watch, Iran
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