Top Iran Drug Cop: “We’re Not Looking For Total Death Penalty Repeal”
Masoud Zahedian, head of Iran’s Anti-Drug Police Force, reaffirmed his organization’s commitment to capital punishment in remarks to the country’s press. According to Mehr News Service, the official criticized a Majles proposal which would do away with capital punishment for certain kinds of drug offenses:
“On the matter of doing away with the death penalty: in the country’s present conditions, caution must be exercised. The Majles and politicians are guiding through [such a measure.] Given the country’s present conditions and the alternative punishments, if the death penalty is scrapped, we’ll be facing an increase in trafficking in some areas. We’re looking for alternative punishments – never for the total repeal of capital punishment.”
Zahedian cited a number of statistics indicating the dimensions of Iran’s drug crisis, claiming that drug interceptions now total two tons daily, that some 200 are arrested on drug charges every day in Tehran alone, and that overall arrests have increased two percent over the past year.
Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation has documented more than 530 executions in Iran in 2016 alone. The majority of these were for drug-related offenses. Iran’s use of the death penalty for those continues to violate the “most serious crimes” standard set by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which it is signatory.
Access the original Persian reporting at Mehr.