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Five Prisoners Hanged in Northern Iran on Drug Charges

10 Apr 16
Five Prisoners Hanged in Northern Iran on Drug Charges

Iran Human Rights (APR 10 2016): On the morning of Saturday April 9, five prisoners were reportedly hanged at Rasht's Lakan Prison (in the provine of Gilan, northern Iran) on drug charges.

The prisoners had reportedly been transferred out of their wards on Thursday April 7 and taken to solitary confinement cells in preparation for their executions.

According to close sources, Rashid Kouhi (pictured above), Seyed Javad Mirzadeh and Hossein Farhadi are the names of three of the prisoners who were charged for drug offences. Iran Human Rights is in the process of investigating the identities of the two other prisoners. 

According to Amnesty International, 36-year-old Rashid Kouhi was arrested in September 2011 and sentenced to death by the revolutionary court in Rudbar (a county in Gilan) for possession and trafficking 800 grams of methamphetamine. Close sources say prison authorities contacted Kouhi's family on April 7 and instructed them to come in for their last visit with him on Friday April 8 before his scheduled execution the next day.

Iranian authorities have admitted multiple times in the past that the death penalty has not decreased the volume of drug crimes in Iran, but Iranian authorities still continue to hang prisoners on drug charges. Human rights groups, including Iran Human Rights, have reported close to a thousand executions carried out in Iran in 2015. According to the annual death penalty report by Iran Human Rights, 66% of the executions carried out in 2015 in Iran were for drug related offenses.