Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MARCH 13, 2018): The 10th annual report on the death penalty in Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM shows that in 2017 at least 517 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
This number is comparable with the execution figures in 2016 and confirms the relative reduction in the use of the death penalty compared to the period between 2010 and 2015. 
Nevertheless, with an average of more than one execution every day and more than one execution per one million inhabitants in 2017, Iran remained the country with the highest number of executions per capita.
2017 Annual Report at a Glance:
At least 517 people were executed in 2017, an average of more than one execution per day111 executions (21%) were announced by official sources.Approximately 79% of all executions included in the 2017 report, i.e. 406 executions, were not announced by the authorities.At least 240 people (46% of all executions) were executed for murder charges - 98 more than in 2016.At le…

UN expert warns UN drug agency over executions

Meth bust, Indonesia
A UN human rights expert has warned the UN's drugs agency that it is not doing enough to prevent a global surge in the death penalty for drugs offences.

In a letter dated 7th December, Dainius Pūras – the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health – told Yury Fedotov, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, that he was “concerned” that in current, UNODC-led General Assembly negotiations on international drug policy, “human rights is included as a theme [but] has played a very minor role in the negotiations to date… with no meaningful debate.” He added: “I would like to reiterate that the death penalty for drug offences does not meet the threshold of ‘most serious crimes.' Mr Pūras called for next year’s General Assembly summit on global drug policy to include “explicit and clear human rights standards and commitments” by all states - including against the death penalty.

The UNODC has faced criticism that counter-narcotics programmes it administers, funded by countries including the US, UK, Germany and France, have led to the handing down of death sentences. For example, a UNODC-funded law enforcement programme in Iran has been linked to the arrest of a 15 year old, Jannat Mir, who was later hanged on drug trafficking charges. An investigation by human rights organization Reprieve last year found that European funding alone could be linked to 3,000 executions in Iran and more than 100 death sentences in Pakistan.

Mr Pūras' concerns come as the death penalty for drugs offences is becoming more prevalent worldwide. According to research by Reprieve, drug-related executions have doubled in Iran and Saudi Arabia over the past year, while hundreds of drug offenders are at risk of imminent execution following the collapse of death penalty moratoria in Pakistan and Indonesia. Other countries, such as Oman and the Philippines, have advanced legislation allowing for the death penalty in relation to drugs.

The UN General Assembly has long called for drug control to be carried out ‘in full conformity’ with the UN Charter and international conventions. In his letter, Mr Pūras says that “such language…becomes meaningless unless underpinned by clear and explicit human rights standards and principles.” The letter follows similar recent calls to UNODC from the UN Special Rapporteurs on torture, summary executions, and Iran.

Commenting, Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said: “Mr Pūras is right to sound the alarm about the death penalty for drug offences at a time when this practice is surging worldwide. Ahead of next year’s all important drug policy summit, it is deeply alarming to see the UNODC and its Western funders pushing a counter-narcotics approach that is an unmitigated human rights disaster. Yury Fedotov must urgently listen to the experts within the UN family, and end the UNODC’s complicity in the death penalty for drugs offences.”

Mr Pūras' letter is available here.

Source: Reprieve, December 10, 2015. Reprieve is an international human rights organization.

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Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017