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RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE EXECUTED FOR DRUG OFFENCES IN 2023

March 21, 2024:

At least 467 people were executed for drug offences in 2023, a new record, according to Harm Reduction International (HRI), an NGO that has been tracking the use of the death penalty for drugs since 2007.
At the end of 2023, 34 countries retained the death for drug offences. In July 2023 Pakistan took the landmark decision to remove the death penalty from the list of punishments that can be imposed for certain violations of its Control of Narcotics Substances Act. This year also saw notable progress in Malaysia, which abolished the mandatory death penalty for all offences, including drug-related ones. This reform may impact the lives of over 700 people on death row for drug offences and bring the country one step closer to total abolition of capital punishment.
In stark contrast to these positive developments is the record-high number of drug-related executions in 2023 – at least 467. Of those executed, at least 59 people belonged to ethnic minority groups (in Iran and in Singapore), 13 individuals were foreign nationals, and six were women. These figures confirm that these groups are uniquely vulnerable to capital punishment as a tool of drug control. Despite not accounting for the dozens, if not hundreds, of executions believed to have taken place in China, Vietnam, and North Korea, the 467 executions that took place in 2023 represent a 44% increase from 2022. Ninety-eight percent of known drug-related executions took place in Iran.
Drug offences were responsible for roughly 42% (almost one in two) of all executions confirmed globally in 2023- the highest recorded since 2016.
Drug-related executions were confirmed in five countries: China, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Executions for drug offences are also highly likely to have taken place in Vietnam and North Korea but this cannot be confirmed due to censorship.
According to reports gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 471 people were executed for drug-related offences in 2023 in Iran only, 494 (in Iran only) according to Hands off Cain’s database.
Confirmed death sentences for drug offences increased by more than 20% from 2022. A minimum of 375 people were sentenced to death for drug offences, of which at least 31 were foreign nationals, and 15 were women. Roughly half of all death sentences for drug offences were passed by courts in Vietnam (188+) and a quarter in Indonesia (114+). The remaining quarter were imposed in 14 other countries.
Information gaps on death sentences persist, meaning many (if not most) death sentences imposed in 2023 remain unknown. Most notably, no accurate figure can be provided for China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. These countries are all believed to regularly impose a significant number of death sentences for drug offences.
At least 3000 people are on death row for drug offences in at least 19 countries.
Two countries were re-classified this year. Kuwait was placed in the ‘high application’ (from ‘low application’) category as it carried out its first drug-related execution in over a decade. Yemen was moved from the ‘insufficient data’ to the ‘low application’ category, due to higher availability of information on drug-related sentences imposed.
2023 also saw international actors expressing strong positions against the death penalty for drug offences in response to changes at the domestic level. This included the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Special Procedures, and the European Union. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) repeatedly failed to take a public position on matters related to the death penalty for drug offences.

(Source: Harm Reduction International)

SOMALIA: A COURT IN GALMUDUG STATE EXECUTES TWO MEN BY FIRING SQUAD FOR MURDER
AFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN VOWS TO PUBLICLY STONE WOMEN TO DEATH FOR ADULTERY'
USA - Florida. James Guzman sentenced to death
USA - Alabama. Alan Eugene Miller’s lawsuit seeks to block 2nd execution using nitrogen gas
USA - Oklahoma. James Ryder not competent to be executed
MALAYSIA: TWO FILIPINAS ESCAPE DEATH SENTENCE AFTER APEX COURT GRANTS 30 YEARS’ JAIL FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
BANGLADESH: THREE TO BE HANGED FOR MURDER IN FARIDPUR
YEMEN: HOUTHIS SENTENCE MEN TO DEATH, FLOGGING
TUNISIA: FOUR PEOPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR 2013 ASSASSINATION OF POLITICIAN
USA - Oklahoma. Bill Protecting Execution Drug Suppliers
USA - Texas. Randall Mays taken off death row over intellectual disability
USA - Louisiana. Senate Judiciary passes HB 6 adding nitrogen to execution methods
USA - Tennessee. Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Death Penalty for Child Rapists
UNITED KINGDOM - Assange can’t be extradited until US rules out death penalty
USA - California. San Quentin’s death row empties
INDIA: 5 SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER OF FORMER ODISHA BLOCK CHAIRMAN
BANGLADESH: TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR 2018 MURDER OF ELDERLY WOMAN IN CHATTOGRAM
USA - The National Registry of Exonerations published its 2023 report
IRAN - 2 men and 1 woman executed in Tabriz
GUYANA MAINTAINS STANCE ON DEATH PENALTY
PAKISTAN: TWO WOMEN GET DEATH SENTENCE FOR KILLING THEIR MADRASSA TEACHER
INDIA: 8 DACOITS GIVEN DEATH PENALTY FOR KILLING THREE
KENYA: JOSEPH 'JOWIE' IRUNGU SENTENCED TO DEATH IN MONICA KIMANI MURDER CASE
DRC LIFTS DEATH-PENALTY MORATORIUM TO EXECUTE THOSE WHO WORK WITH M23 - OR SHOW COWARDICE
IRAN - “Black Tuesdays” Hunger Strikes Against the Death Penalty
USA - Georgia. Willie Pye, 59, Black, was executed
USA - Delaware. Judiciary Committee passed HB 70 to repeal death penalty
MALAYSIA: MAN GETS DEATH FOR 200KG OF DRUGS IN TAWAU
INDIA: MAN GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR KILLING LANCE NAIK IN BAREILLY
BANGLADESH: 4 GET DEATH SENTENCE FOR KILLING CHILD IN N'GANJ

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IRAN - Wife of Djalali pleads for EU action
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