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UN DOUBLES IRAN DRUG FUNDING DESPITE EXECUTION SURGE

December 21, 2015: The UN has announced a new $20 million funding deal for anti-drug operations in Iran, despite drug related executions reaching a 16 year high.
The UN’s new funding deal will more than double UN funding for Iranian counter-narcotics efforts, and will be administered by the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The money is expected to support a range of law enforcement operations, including the establishment of border posts designed to catch drug mules crossing the country’s border with Afghanistan.
Under Iranian law the death penalty can be handed down to anyone caught with more than 30g of narcotics, and more than 500 people have been hanged on such charges so far this year.
European Governments, such as France and Germany, have historically been the main donors to UN drug programmes in Iran. Contributions were withdrawn by Denmark, Ireland, and the UK over concerns around Iran’s execution rate.
The international human rights NGO Reprieve has linked past UN funding to at least 3,000 executions in Iran, including a number of juvenile offenders. Last year UN-funded operations were linked to the execution of 15 year old Jannat Mir, and  17 year old Osman Dahmarde who was hanged alongside his mother. 
In October 2015 the UN’s special rapporteur on Iran warned that the country’s Government was using UN support to justify its aggressive use of capital punishment, noting that Iranian officials “pointed to statements about its efforts issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to demonstrate international support for its approach.” (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/22465)
 The UNODC’s own human rights policy stipulates that “If, following requests for guarantees and high-level political intervention, executions for drug related offences continue, UNODC may have no choice but to employ a temporary freeze or withdrawal of support”. However, the agency’s own evaluation of its most recent Iranian funding programme found that “no action has been taken yet in line with UNODC guidance”.
Maya Foa, head of Reprieve’s Death Penalty team, said: “Iran is presiding over an unprecedented acceleration in drug related hangings, while claiming its execution spree is somehow legitimised by UN support. But instead of following its own human rights policy and freezing support for Iranian drug raids, UNODC has responded by doubling its contributions in a generous new funding deal. If the countries funding this programme are to have any credibility whatsoever in opposing capital punishment, they should make their contributions conditional on an end to the death penalty for drug offences”. (Sources: Reprieve, 21/12/2015)

IRAN: 8 PRISONERS HANGED AT TABRIZ, MASHHAD
PAKISTAN: FOUR TERRORISTS EXECUTED IN KOHAT
SAUDI ARABIA: FILIPINO EXECUTED, 153RD DEATH SENTENCE IN 2015
NORTH KOREA: 5 EXECUTED FOR AIDING AND ABETTING ESCAPES
MALAYSIA: NIGERIAN SENTENCED TO HANG FOR DRUGS SMUGGLING
SUDAN: TWO POLICEMEN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER PRISONER’S MURDER
IRAN: THREE HANGED IN KHORRAMABAD
TAIWAN: DOUBLE-MURDERER SENTENCED TO DEATH
SAUDI ARABIA: 2 SAUDI MILLIONAIRES SAVES FILIPINO ON DEATH ROW AS CHRISTMAS GIFT
THAILAND: TWO MYANMAR MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER OF BRITISH BACKPACKERS
SAUDI ARABIA: SRI LANKAN MAID SPARED IN ADULTERY CASE
SOMALIA: ISLAMISTS PUBLICLY EXECUTE TWO OFFICIALS
IRAN: 2 PRISONERS HANGED IN GHEZELHESAR PRISON IN KARAJ
IRAN: 8 MEN HANGED ON DRUG CHARGES
IRAN: TWO PRISONERS HANGED FOR MURDER
IRAN: DEATH PENALTY ANNULLED FOR SPIRITUAL LEADER MOHAMMAD ALI TAHERI
PENNSYLVANIA (USA): SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS GOVERNOR'S MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
GAZA: TWO DEATH SENTENCES ISSUED IN ONE WEEK
IRAN: SEVEN PEOPLE HANGED IN ONE DAY, TWO OF THE EXECUTIONS IN PUBLIC
PAKISTAN: TWO DEATH ROW CONVICTS HANGED IN SAHIWAL
USA: 75% OF 2015 EXECUTIONS RAISED SERIOUS CONCERNS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH OR INNOCENCE
JAPAN: TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS HANGED
NORTH CAROLINA (USA): SUPREME COURT REVERSES RACIAL JUSTICE ACT RULING, ORDERS NEW HEARINGS
PAKISTAN: JUVENILE REPORTEDLY EXECUTED
PAKISTAN: THREE DEATH ROW CONVICTS EXECUTED IN PUNJAB JAILS
BELARUS: RUSSIAN CITIZEN SENTENCED TO DEATH IN UAE AWAITING EXTRADITION
JAPAN: MAN SERVING LIFE FOR MURDER SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ANOTHER MURDER
SAUDI ARABIA: SAUDI PUT TO DEATH IN KINGDOM'S 151ST EXECUTION OF YEAR
PAKISTAN: 8 DEATH ROW CONVICTS HANGED IN VARIOUS CITIES
USA: DPIC RELEASES YEAR END REPORT

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