Over 1,000 executed every year for drugs
More than 1,000 people face execution worldwide every year for drug-related offences, the human rights group IHRA on Monday said in a report that called for the practice to be abolished.
"Hundreds of people are executed for drug offences each year around the world, a figure that very likely exceeds 1,000 when taking into account those countries that keep their death penalty statistics secret," the International Harm Reduction Association said in its Global Overview 2010 report.
Death penalties for drug offences -- mostly manufacturing and trafficking -- are still in place in 32 mostly Asian and Middle Eastern states, the IHRA found.
It cited China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia as the worst offenders.
In those six nations, it said, death sentences have been routinely carried out in recent years, with 172 people executed in Iran last year and at least 50 in Malaysia.
Other states seem to have an effective moratorium although capital punishment remains on the books, the report said, calling on those nations to take the extra step and abolish the death penalty for drug offenders.
"IHRA is calling on an immediate moratorium on all executions for drug offences, a commuting of all existing death sentences for drug offences and an amendment of legislation to remove the death penalty for all drug offences," said Rick Lines, co-author of the report.
"Countries with the death penalty for drug offences are not only violating human rights law, they are clinging to a criminal justice model that is ineffective and unnecessary."
May 17, 2010