World Iran halts death penalty for minor drug crimes

20:00  10 january  2018
20:00  10 january  2018 Source:   Associated Press

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian media say the country has begun implementing new guidelines that will prevent thousands of convicted drug smugglers from being executed. The new regulations, approved by parliament in October, would limit the death penalty to drug kingpins

Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy director, acknowledged that the new rules could "spare hundreds from the gallows," but said Iran "must stop using the death penalty for drug -related offences with a view to eventually abolishing it for all crimes ."

Rights groups have criticized Iran for being among the world's leading executioners. © Fatemeh Bahrami, Anadolu Agency, Getty Images Rights groups have criticized Iran for being among the world's leading executioners. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran has begun implementing new guidelines that will prevent thousands of convicted drug smugglers from being executed, Iranian media reported on Wednesday.

The new regulations, approved by parliament in October, would limit the death penalty to drug kingpins, armed dealers and those convicted of smuggling more than 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of opium or 2 kilograms of heroin. Previous law prescribed the death penalty for smuggling 20 kilograms of opium or 30 grams of heroin.

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So it was a major turnaround when the parliament and the Guardians Council, the powerful clerical body that must approve all proposed legislation, abolished the death penalty for some drug -related crimes . Human Rights Watch Calls On Iran To Halt Drug -Related Executions.

He said most were first-time offenders. A month earlier, more than 150 lawmakers in the 290-member legislature called for a halt to the execution of petty drug traffickers. While HRW's Far says it is "disappointing" that the changes do not abolish the death penalty for all nonviolent drug offenses

The pro-reform Shargh newspaper and other dailies reported Wednesday that Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani, the head of the judiciary, has ordered officials to "quickly" review cases and implement the new regulations.

The report said the decision would affect more than 5,000 convicts.

Rights groups have long criticized Iran for being among the world's leading executioners.

Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy director, acknowledged that the new rules could "spare hundreds from the gallows," but said Iran "must stop using the death penalty for drug-related offences with a view to eventually abolishing it for all crimes."

Iran slams US sanctions on judiciary chief Larijani .
Iran slammed US President Donald Trump's decision to target the head of its judiciary with sanctions, saying the move warrants a "severe" response.Trump on Friday avoided upending the nuclear deal with Iran that he has repeatedly disparaged, agreeing to waive key sanctions the US lifted as part of the deal.

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