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Despite 328 Executions for Drug-Related Charges in 2013, UNODC Praises Iran's Drug Fight

12 Mar 14
Despite 328 Executions for Drug-Related Charges in 2013, UNODC Praises Iran's Drug Fight

According to the Iran Human Rights' (IHR) annual report on the death penalty in Iran, which will be published tomorrow, at least 328 people were executed for drug-related charges in 2013. The United Nations' Office for Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) has been cooperating with the Iranian authorities in combating drug trafficking. IHR urges the UNODC to take its share of responsibility in combating the arbitrary executions of drug convicts in Iran. Iran Human Rights, March 12, 2014: According to Reuters, the U.N. anti-drugs chief has praised Iran's fight against narcotics trafficking. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told reporters that "Iran takes a very active role to fight against illicit drugs," before an international meeting in Vienna on March 13-14, on global efforts to combat narcotics.

 "It is very impressive," Fedotov said referring to the reports showing that in 2012, Iran seized 388 tons of opium, the equivalent of 72 percent of all such seizures around the world. This praise comes in spite of the fact that hundreds of prisoners are executed in Iran once convicted of drug-related charges. According to IHR's "Annual Report on the Death Penalty in 2013" which will be published on March 13, at least 328 people were hanged for drug-related charges last year in Iran. In the past couple of years IHR and other international human rights groups have called on UNODC to halt its cooperation with Iran  and condition it on a moratorium on the death penalty for drug-related charges. According to IHR reports more than 1800 people have been executed for drug-related charges since 2010.  

The IHR spokesperson Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: "The amount of seized drugs is the only positive result UNODC and the Iranian authorities can present. But there is no evidence that the UNODC cooperation with Iran has led to a decrease in drug trafficking. Besides, UNODC cannot be indifferent to the indiscriminate execution of hundreds of prisoners under the pretext of fighting the drug trafficking. UNODC must take its share of responsibility".