Majles Votes to Table Provision Repealing Death Penalty for Some Drug Cases
Representatives of the Iranian Majles have voted to table a provision which would, if finally confirmed after committee review and a general vote, institute alternative punishments for most cases of drug trafficking crimes in Iran. The addendum to the country’s anti-narcotics law was tabled with a vote of 167 affirmative votes, 21 negative votes, and 4 abstentions from the 195-member legislative body.
Should the provision pass into law, drug offenders not deemed guilty of “corruption on earth” by the courts would be sentenced to terms of 25- to 30-year terms, rather than the presently allotted punishments of lifetime incarceration or capital punishment.
The provision maintains capital punishment in some instances, including those in which the offender is armed, leads a criminal organization, or has a prior sentencing history for serious narcotics crimes.
Rep. Hassan Nowrouzi, who voted in favor of the provision, said in a speech that “At present, 5,000 people are awaiting execution. More than 90% of them are first-time offenders between 20 and 30 years of age. All the while, international traffickers sit on the other side of the border and scheme.”
The proposal is now due to be investigated by the Majles’ Special Commission before being returned to the general body for final approval.
Read the original Persian coverage at BBC: http://www.bbc.com/persian/iran-38076623