Iran’s Commissioner of Human Rights Mohammad Javad Larijani says his office is making a concentrated effort to change capital punishment linked to drug charges, which would result in a considerable decline in executions in Iran.
The Islamic Republic has been repeatedly criticized by international organizations and Western countries for the high number of executions in Iran.
Mohammad Javad Larijani announced that his office is trying to change the law, and if Parliament approves the change, “80 percent of executions will be eliminated, and that can be a major development.”
The Mizan website, which is the judiciary’s news agency, says the high number of executions is due to drug-related charges under the current legislation, and this high number “is very sad.”
Iran has a long border with Afghanistan, which produces 90 percent of the world’s opium. Iran deploys a large number of security forces to deal with drug smuggling, which according to Iranian sources moves “three billion dollars a year.”
Human rights groups object that the Iranian judiciary will impose the death penalty for possessing or transporting even a small amount of drugs. They also claim that only poor. small-time dealers tend to be caught, while the actual smugglers continue to operate.