Monday, March 25, 2013

Denmark indirectly supporting Iranian drug executions

Public execution in Iran
By supporting a UN anti-drug programme operating in Iran, Denmark may be helping Iranian authorities arrest and execute suspected drug users and smugglers.

Denmark voluntarily supports the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which supports countries around the world in tackling drug-related crime.

But Denmark’s approximate 35 million kroner donation to the programme may be contributing to the number of drug traffickers and users arrested and subsequently executed in Iran, according to Amnesty Danmark.

The wish to limit the drug trade is of course legitimate, but as the situation stands in Iran, the money could end up supporting arrests and ultimately executions,” Trine Christensen, the deputy general secretary at Amnesty Danmark, told Politiken newspaper. “If we continue to support the programme, it legitimises Iran’s use of the death penalty for drug-related crimes.”

As a result, Amnesty estimates that around 260,000 people were arrested in 2011 for drug-related offences. Of the 488 people executed by Iran in 2011, around three-quarters were for drug-related offences.

“We should not participate in a project where people are executed for committing a crime,” Enhedslisten's development spokesperson, Christian Juhl told Politiken newspaper. “We can’t close our eyes to how people are treated just because we want to combat drug smuggling. We end up compromising our principles.”


Source: The Copenhagen Post, March 25, 2013