Newsbrief: More Drug Executions in Iran, Saudi Arabia 9/17/04

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Both Iran and Saudi Arabia again meted out the death penalty to accused drug traffickers this month. According to the human rights group Amnesty International, Iran was a distant second to China in executions last year, with 68, beating out the US's 65. Saudi Arabia also resorts frequently to the death penalty, with at least 53 executions last year.

International Anti-Drugs Day activity in Tehran, Iran, 2001
In both countries, executions for drug offenses make up a substantial portion of those killed. According to figures compiled by the Australian Coalition Against the Death Penalty, at least 21 people were executed for drug offenses in Saudi Arabia last year and six in Iran, although human rights groups consistently say these numbers are probably lower than the actual numbers because many death sentences and executions are carried out in secrecy. (For example, an Associated Press story on this week's executions in Saudi Arabia said that "mostly drug smugglers" were executed last year.)

In Saudi Arabia, three security guards were beheaded Sunday after being convicted of trafficking in hashish and using government vehicles to move the drug, the Interior Ministry reported. Khamis bin Mabrouk al-Sayeri, Nasser bin Mohammed al-Fahadi and Zidan al-Oqaili al-Anzi were caught in the act as they loaded an undisclosed amount of hash into vehicles belonging to the Saudi border guard. They were executed in the northern border city of Arar, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Three more drug traffickers were executed in Iran last week, according to a report in the Cyprus Mail. Two brothers, Kamran and Keivan Razaghi and Amin Janati-Tabar, were sentenced to death after being convicted of purchasing and selling almost 20,000 kilos of heroin and cocaine. They were hanged September 7 in prison in Tehran.

To read the Amnesty International report, "Death Sentences and Executions 2003" online, visit:

To view the Australian Coalition Against the Death Penalty numbers online, visit:

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Issue #354, 9/17/04 Editorial: What Is It About Opium? | Canada Cannabis Cauldron Bubbling Again | DEA Brings Traveling "Drugs = Terror" Exhibit to NYC as City Commemorates 9/11 Anniversary | Drugs and Sports: A New Arena for Drug Reformers? | Newsbrief: In Gotham Shocker, New York Post Calls for Repeal of Rockefeller Laws | Newsbrief: Drug Reformer Challenger Defeats Hard-Line District Attorney in Albany, New York | Newsbrief: Yes, Four Ounces of Marijuana at Home is Legal, Says Alaska Supreme Court | Newsbrief: Drug Czar Attacks Oregon Medical Marijuana Initiative | Newsbrief: Oakland Poll Shows Strong Support for Legalization of Marijuana | Newsbrief: South Africa to Reject Marijuana Decriminalization | Newsbrief: More Drug Executions in Iran, Saudi Arabia | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Mexico Shuts Down Three "Youth Treatment" Centers, Deports Kids Back to US | The Reformer's Calendar

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