Death Penalty: Another Month of Drug War Extremism, and America's Hands Are Bloody

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #563)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

The resort to the ultimate sanction for drug offenders continued apace last month, thanks to the usual suspects in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. And it continues despite a UN General Assembly call a year ago to end the death penalty for all offenses and an international campaign to end it for drug offenses that began earlier this year.

[inline:tehran.jpg align=right caption="International Anti-Drugs Day drug burn, Tehran"]Here, thanks to the anti-death penalty group Hands Off Cain are the latest victims of drug war extremism. Of particular note and concern to Americans should be two cases -- November 14 in Yemen and November 25 in Thailand -- where the American military or American anti-drug personnel helped send drug suspects to their likely deaths:

Indonesia -- November 6: The News Agency of Nigeria reported that eighteen Nigerians sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Indonesia have opted for the review of their cases. Sources at the Nigerian embassy say that their lawyers have filed the appeals with the prosecutor. "They opted for the review of their cases instead of seeking for clemency for fear of being denied the clemency by the authority. "The Indonesian President hardly grants clemency for drug convicts. Once he turns down pleas for clemency on behalf of convicts twice execution is imminent and automatic,'' the source said. And by filing for a review of their cases, "they can still prolong the finality of their conviction and buy some time." The Nigerian Ambassador to Indonesia, Alhaji Ibrahim Mai-Sule, said he is optimistic about the visit of the Special Envoy to President Yar'Adua, Chief Ojo Maduekwe who came to seek clemency for the convicted Nigerians.

Yemen -- November 14: A court in Sanaa, Yemen, sentenced an Iranian to death for drug trafficking and imposed 25-year prison sentences each on 11 other Iranians and a Pakistani, officials said. Ayub Mohamed Houd, 33, who faces the death penalty, and his 12 accomplices were found guilty of bringing 1.5 tons of hashish into Yemeni territorial waters, hidden in the hold of a ship coming from Iran. The prosecution said the 13 men were interdicted by a US navy warship, which found the drugs on board their boat. They were handed over to the Yemeni authorities after the destruction of all but 20kg of drugs. At the opening of the trial on October 12, the men, whose statements in Farsi were translated into Arabic, denied the charges and said the US sailors threw a large quantity of fish into the sea from the hold.

Malaysia -- November 15: A Malaysian court sentenced two Indonesians, Mohamad Idris and Jainuddin, to death for drug trafficking, Antara newswire reported. The Kuala Lumpur based court found the two defendants guilty of distributing marijuana and were found to be in a possession of 5.7 kilogram of marijuana when they were arrested in September 2002. The two claimed that they were innocent and did not know the content of a package that they were then delivering to a person they identified as Tengku Yan, but they were never able to prove the existence of Yan.

Iran -- November 22: An Iranian man convicted of drug trafficking was hanged in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, a newspaper reported. The man, identified only by his first name Majid, was hanged for smuggling more than 300 kilos of morphine, Etemad newspaper said, without specifying when the execution took place.

Iran--November 24: Iran hanged three men convicted of drug trafficking in a prison in the Iranian southeastern city of Zahedan, the official IRNA news agency reports. The men, identified as Hossein Nahtani, Abdollah Dahmardeh and Mohammad Barahoui, were all found guilty of smuggling heroin, the report adds. Nahtani was convicted of trafficking 1.09-kilograms [2.4 pounds] of heroin, while Dahmardeh and Barahoui were sentenced for smuggling 3.8-kg [8.3 pounds] and 5.5-kg [12 pounds], respectively.

Thailand -- November 25: Two Israelis convicted of drug trafficking were sentenced to death by a Thai court. The two men plan to appeal the sentence. The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem confirmed the report. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced that she may intervene in the affair should the sentences not be changed. The two Israelis, 34-year-old Vladimir Akronik and 37-year-old Alon Mahluf, were detained in the vicinity of Bangkok's Kao San Road in possession of 23,000 ecstasy pills about a year ago. Thai media reported that the two arrived in Thailand from Europe and were detained after authorities received information about them from American officials.

Saudi Arabia -- November 28: A Saudi Arabian man and a stateless Arab convicted of drug trafficking were beheaded by the sword in Riyadh. Mohammad bin Karim al-Anzi, the Saudi, and Sadok al-Khalidi were found to have introduced large quantities of hallucinogenic pills on the Saudi market, the Interior Ministry said, quoted by the state news agency SPA.

Iran -- November 29: Iran hanged two men convicted of drug trafficking in a prison in the southeastern city of Zahedan, Fars news agency reported. The report identified the two as H.F. and A.N., and said they were found guilty of smuggling 11kgs of heroin and 387kgs of opium respectively.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

But the drug warriors do not care. All they care about is themselves, power and money.

Norman Lepoff, M.D. retired

Fri, 12/05/2008 - 4:08pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

You're right, good Doctor. the name of the game is money & power...

Fri, 12/05/2008 - 6:08pm Permalink

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