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States to try new ways of executing prisoners. Their latest idea? Opioids.

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The synthetic painkiller fentanyl has been the driving force behind the nation’s opioid epidemic, killing tens of thousands of Americans last year in overdoses. Now two states want to use the drug’s powerful properties for a new purpose: to execute prisoners on death row.
As Nevada and Nebraska push for the country’s first fentanyl-assisted executions, doctors and death penalty opponents are fighting those plans. They have warned that such an untested use of fentanyl could lead to painful, botched executions, comparing the use of it and other new drugs proposed for lethal injection to human experimentation.
States are increasingly pressed for ways to carry out the death penalty because of problems obtaining the drugs they long have used, primarily because pharmaceutical companies are refusing to supply their drugs for executions.
The situation has led states such as Florida, Ohio and Oklahoma to turn to novel drug combinations for executions. Mississippi legalized nitrogen gas this s…

Iran: Every single man in a village executed for drug offenses

Iran Human Rights (FEB 25 2016): Talking to state run news agency Mehr on Tuesday February 23 about the huge problem of drug usage and offenses in Iran, Shahindokht Molaverdi, Iranian Vice President for Women & Family Affairs (appointed by Hassan Rouhani in 2013) said: We have a village in Sistan & Baluchestan where every single man has been executed. The children [of these men] are potential drug traffickers; either because they will seek revenge for the deaths of their fathers or because they will need to financially provide for their families, as a result of lack of support by the government.

Every year several hundred people are hanged in Iran for drug related charges. According to IHR, the majority of people executed in Iran belong to the most marginalized groups in society, and ethnic regions are the most affected. "Iranian authorities have repeatedly admitted that the death penalty has not solved the problem of drug trafficking, but they still continue to execute people for drug charges. 

In 2015 the number of executions in Iran for drug offenses was the highest in 20 years," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson of Iran Human Rights.

IHR once again calls on the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and country donors to stop providing equipment, funding, and technology to Iran until the death penalty is no longer issued for drug offenses.

The UNODC and the European countries who are funding its law enforcement cooperation with Iran must make their cooperation and funding of counter-narcotics efforts in Iran conditional on an end to the death penalty for drug offenses. 

The UN must not continue funding the Iranian authorities' "killing machine" under the pretext of fighting drug trafficking.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Feb. 25, 2016

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