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UK funding of Iran’s anti-drug trafficking leads to more hangings

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Iran executed 10 drug traffickers in a prison in Tehran last Monday, despite repeated calls from Amnesty International to halt such hangings. (AFP)
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(AlArabiya) Britain’s funding of Iran’s war on drug trafficking had led to the rise of executions of smugglers in the Islamic Republic, according to a U.N. report.

The new report by Christof Heyns, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, sounded the alarm that the flow of overseas aid to Iran was followed by an increase in hangings, The Guardian reported on Sunday.

Last Monday alone, Iran executed 10 men convicted of trafficking more than a ton of opium and a ton of methamphetamine.

Britain gave $3.2 million to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) program to train sniffer dogs and buy specialized vehicles, satellite phones, drug-testing kits and body scanners to help combat drug smuggling, according a report by The Observer.

Heyns said countries cooperating with other states that practice the death penalty for drug trafficking face “questions of complicity.”

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch also expressed alarm over help offered to countries known for “draconian” human rights violations.

“Assistance to drug control efforts in countries with draconian drug laws, secret trials with no appeal, and death sentences for possession of small amounts of drugs raises serious concerns about complicity in violations of the right to life,” The Gordian reported Rebecca Schleifer, advocacy director of the health and human rights division at Human Rights Watch, saying.

The UK is said to be one of the five donor countries to UNODC.

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