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300 traffickers on death row

SOME 300 drug traffickers are on death row in Iran, the judiciary has announced, reflecting Tehran’s hard line on narcotics which has added to international concerns over its extensive use of capital punishment.

“For 300 drug-related convicts, including those who were in possession of at least 30 grammes of heroin, execution verdicts have been issued,” Sharq daily quoted Tehran prosecutor-general Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying yesterday.

Although the list was long it did not contain any big-time traffickers or ringleaders, he said.

All the convicts face death by hanging.

Amnesty International says Iran is second only to China for the number of executions, with at least 252 people put to death last year.

As well as drug trafficking, murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery and apostasy are all punishable by death under Sharia law practised since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Iran dismisses criticisms of its justice system, saying it is implementing Islamic law and accuses the West of double standards.


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