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Iran: Mandatory death Sentence for possession of drugs

amnesty international

INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT I Easton Street London WCIX United Kingdom .

EXTERNAL (for gener-a1 distribution)
23 November 1989
Further information on UA 08/89 (MDE 13/02/89, 11 January) and (MJE 13/07/89, 24 January, MDE 13/13/89, 15 March, MDE 13/20/89, 24*&August and WE 13/21/89, 15 September) - Death Pena1t_y
IRAN: Mandatory death séntence for possession of drugs
According to a report in the Iranian newspaper Kayhan, dated 14/11/89 , 59 drug traffiekers are tot be executed in the town of Sari (Mazandaran province) , on a date not specified. They appear to form part of a tota1 of 496 drug traffickers‘, "inc1ud1'ng 30 women , who were recent1_y ' arrested.
Amnesty Internationa1 has now recorded over 1 , 300 executions for offences in Iran thi s year, over 900 of which have been for drug-related offences.

’The dramatic increase in the number of executions for criminal offences this ye_ar may have been facilitated by instructions given to the judiciary by Chief Justice Ardebili in January 1989 recommending that trials in serious criminal cases should take place immediately and that cases be dea1 t wi th in a matter of a few days from arrest to execution. Defendants have no right to ca11 witnesses in their defence, and no right to 1ega1 representation. without such safeguards miscarriages of juistice are more 11'ke1y to occur. '

The majority of these executions have been carried out as part of a major‘ government initiative aimed at putting an end to drug traffickjng in Iran. Despite the hundreds of executions carried out woridwide each fyear, there is no evidence that the death penaity has had any significant effect in reducing drug trafficking and abuse. Amnesty Internat1'ona1 is concerned that the anti-drug campaign in Iran has 1ed to increas1'ng1y arbitrary arrest and summary procedures where standards fall far short of 1'n’cernat1'ona1 standards for fair tr1'a1.

Amnesty International recognizes the right of governments to seek effective measures to counter iHicit drug trafficking, but it does not beiieve that what amounts to a poiicy of summary execution has any place among such measures. It opposes the death penalty in a1] cases as a vioiation of the right to Hfe and the right not to be subjected to crue'|, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, as pr*oc1a1'med in the Unive-r~sa1 Dec1arat1'on of Human Rights.

Telephone: O1-833 1771 Fax: 01-833 51 00 Telegrams: Amnesty London WC1 Telex: 28502

Amnesty lntemational is an independent worldwide movement working for the intemational protection of human rights. It seeks the release oi men and women detained anywhereubecause of their beliefs, colour, sex, ethnic origin, language or religious creed, provided they have not used or advocated violence. These ere termed prisoners of conscience. lt works tor fair and prompt trials tor all political prisoners and works on behalf of such people detained without charge or trial. It opposes the death penalty and torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of all prisoners. " W

RECGMENDED ACTION: Telexes/faxes/airmail letters:
- expressing dismay at the more than 1,300 executions publicly announced
since the beginning of 1989;
- requesting deta1'1s of any trial procedures fo11owed in the cases of “the
59 peop1e recent1y arrested;
- pointing out the death penaity has not been shown to have a
deterrent effect in reducing illicit drug trafficking;
— urging that those recently arrested should not be executed or subjected
to any other form of crue1, inhuman or degrading punishment.
H E AyatoHah Mohammad Yazdi Head of the Judiciary Ministry of Justice Park-e Shahr Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran
Te1egrams: Justice Minister, Tehran, Iran
Te1exes: 214231 miti ir 213113 prim 1'r marked for attention Head Judiciary

H E AH Akbar Ve1ayat1' Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdo1maj1'd Avenue Kooshk-e Mesri Tehran Is1am1'c Republic of Iran

H E Mokhtar Ka1antar1' Anti-Drug Campaign HO Prime Minister's Bui'Id1'ng Pasteur Avenue

Tehran V Is1am1'c Repub1 ic of Iran
Prime Ministers Bu1'1d1'ng, Tehran,
marked for attention Head Anti-Drug Campaign
Faxes: 669 850
to d1'p1omat1'c representatives of Iran in your country.
Check with "the Internat1'ona1
Secretariat, or your sect1'on3 January 1990.
- Please take action as soon as you receive this Urgent Action

appeal. Carefully read the recommended action. If possible, send a telegram or express letter immediately to one or more of the addresses glven. Other letters can be sent afterwards.

Telegrams and letters should be brief and courteous. Stress that your concern for human rights is not in any way politically partisan. Refer to relevant provisions in international law, such as' the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 3 - “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

Article 5 — “N0 one shall be subjected to torture 0r to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Article 9 — “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

The name of Amnesty International may be used, although letters written in a private or personal capacity may be more effective.

Copies of appeals. should be sent to releilant diplomatic representatives in your country.

in Urgent Action cases, Amnesty International has to a'ct rapidly to prevent the ill-treatment of prisoners. An appeal is issued when Amnesty International believes it has received reliable and accurate information in such cases. it is not always possible to verify all details independently and in some instances the situation outlined in the appeal may change. Urgent Action participants are always notified of any significant new facts.

Copies of any replies received from government authorities should be sent immediateiy to your section's Urgent Action coordinator or direct to the Campaign and Membership

Department of the International Secretariat. If appropriate,'
thank the official who has replied and ask to be kept informed about the case.


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Tagged as:

Death Penalty, Executions