Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Iran again executes ten drug traffickers
Front entrance of the Evin prison in Tehran.
Iran executed 10 drug traffickers in a prison in Tehran on Wednesday, a statement on the website of the prosecutor's office said. The men sent to the gallows were convicted of trafficking "hundreds of kilos" of narcotics, the statement said.
Two weeks ago, an announcement by Iran that it had hanged 10 convicted drug traffickers prompted expressions of concern from the United Nations and the European Union. According to Iran Human Rights these executions took place on 22 October in Tehran’s Evin Prison early that day. According to the Iranian IRIB NEWS, the prisoners belonged to two different narcotic leagues: Farshid Rostami, Farhad Mashhadi Abolghasem, Ali Darvishi, Abbas Abbasi Namaki, Saeed Sedighi, Hami Rabiei and Mohammad Ali Rabiei belonged to a group that had been convicted of possession of one ton of Shishe (synthetic heroin) in Tehran. The other group was convicted of trafficking more than one ton of opium from one of the southern harbors to Tehran. They were identified as: Alireza Molaei, Eshagh (Isac) Lorgi, and Yousef Parmar.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at the time said she was "appalled" by the executions while the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said he was "shocked." Shaheed said at the time more than 300 people had been recorded executed in the first eight months of the year but the figure was probably much higher as Iran was restricting information on the number of people hanged.
He reported 670 executions in 2011 in Iran, which has the world's highest per capita use of the death penalty.
Iran, where murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are punishable by death, is among countries with the highest annual record of executions in the world, along with China, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Iran's geographical location along an important transit route for narcotics destined for Europe and the Middle East makes it victim to a severe drug problem.
Around two million people, out of a population of 75 million, are drug addicts, 400,000 of them heroin users, according to official estimates.
Some 3,656 deaths related to drug use were recorded during the last Iranian year (March 2011 to March 2012), according to official figures from the health ministry.