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UN: FREEZE FUNDING OF IRAN COUNTER-NARCOTICS EFFORTS

December 18, 2014: The United Nations agency charged with combating illicit drug trafficking should withdraw its support for counter-narcotics police operations in Iran until the death penalty for drug offenses is abolished, 6 rights groups said in a letter published today. The groups made the plea after Iran's judiciary hanged 18 alleged drug traffickers within 24 hours on December 3, 2014, bringing the number of drug offenders executed in the country during 2014 to at least 318.
Reprieve, Human Rights Watch, Iran Human Rights, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Harm Reduction International and the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation said the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) should follow its own human rights guidance and impose "a temporary freeze or withdrawal of support" if "following requests for guarantees and high-level political intervention, executions for drug related offenses continue."
The 6 organizations warned the UNODC of "the widening gulf between Iran's rhetoric and the realities of its justice system," and described the agency's decision to continue funding supply-side counter-narcotics efforts in the country as "ineffective if not counterproductive."
"As Iran executes alleged drug offenders in ever-greater numbers, it beggars belief that the UN sees fit to continue funding Iranian anti-drug operations," said Reprieve director Maya Foa. "How many more hangings will it take for the UN to open its eyes to the lethal consequences of its current approach, and make its counter-narcotics support conditional on an end to the death penalty for drug offenses?"
The UN agency's records show it has given more than $15 million to "supply control" operations by Iran's Anti-Narcotics Police, funding specialist training, intelligence, trucks, body scanners, night vision goggles, drug detection dogs, bases, and border patrol offices, the groups said.
UNODC projects in Iran have come with performance indicators including "an increase in drug seizures and an improved capability of intercepting smugglers," and an "increase of drug-related sentences."
The United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark have all chosen to withdraw their support from Iranian counter-narcotics operations administered by the UNODC because of concerns that this funding was enabling the execution of alleged drug traffickers. When announcing its decision to do so, Denmark publically acknowledged that the donations are leading to executions.
The groups had previously written a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in May 2014 on the issue of UNODC counter-narcotics funding in Iran and Vietnam. In their letter, the groups expressed concern that UNODC continuing support of Iran's counter-narcotics operations was "lending legitimacy" to executions of drug offenders. In an August 2014 response, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov responded that his agency sought progress through "engagement and dialogue," and that he was "gratified" by "potentially favourable developments regarding the application of the death penalty in relation to drug offenders in Iran." (Source: Human Rights Watch, December 17, 2014)

PAKISTAN: MUSHARRAF ATTACK CASE CONVICT EXECUTED
MARYLAND: GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY COMMUTES FOUR DEATH SENTENCES
IRAN: TWELVE PRISONERS EXECUTED AT THE END OF THE YEAR
CHINA: S. KOREAN DRUG OFFENDER EXECUTED
SAUDI ARABIA: 86TH EXECUTION OF 2014 CARRIED OUT
IRAN: SEVEN PRISONERS HANGED IN ORUMIEH PRISON
IRAQ: 3442 DETAINEES WITH TERRORISM CHARGES RELEASED IN NOVEMBER, 2014
JAPAN: 129 INMATES REMAIN ON DEATH ROW
SYRIA: ISLAMIC STATE CRUCIFIES TWO CIVIL SERVANTS CONVICTED OF FRAUD
IRAN: 3 PRISONERS HANGED IN ZAHEDAN
CHINA: JAPANESE, KOREAN DRUG DEALERS SENTENCED
PAKISTAN: BAN KI-MOON URGED NAWAZ SHARIF TO HALT EXECUTIONS
IRAN: 7 PRISONERS HANGED IN SHIRAZ
MAURITANIA: FIRST APOSTASY DEATH SENTENCE
PAKISTAN: EUROPE CONDEMNS DECISION TO RESUME EXECUTIONS
IRAN: MAN HANGED IN THE PRISON OF MASHHAD
JORDAN: MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF JORDANIANS SUPPORT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
SOMALIA: AL-SHABAAB EXECUTE YOUNG MAN FOR SUSPECTED SPYING
UAE: WIDOW SPARES HUSBAND’S KILLER DEATH SENTENCE
MALAYSIA: MAID FROM THAILAND SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
THAILAND: MINISTRY OF JUSTICE LOOKS TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
SAUDI ARABIA: THREE INDIANS SAVED FROM EXECUTION
PAKISTAN: FOUR MORE SENT TO THE GALLOWS AFTER SCHOOL ATTACK
JORDAN: 11 EXECUTED AFTER 8-YEAR DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM
IRAN: 11 PRISONER HANGED IN SHIRAZ AND QAZVIN
PAKISTAN: TWO TERRORISTS EXECUTED AFTER THE GOVERNMENT ENDED A MORATORIUM ON CAPITAL
USA: EXECUTIONS, NEW DEATH SENTENCES CONTINUE TO FALL
DEATH PENALTY: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S VOTE PRO-MORATORIUM A FURTHER STEP TOWARDS ABOLITION
PAKISTAN: PRESIDENT REJECTS MERCY APPEAL OF 17 DEATH PENALTY CONVICTS
PAKISTAN PREPARES TO EXECUTE 55 DEATH ROW INMATES

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