Man to be Executed for Drugs Offence: Saeed Sedeghi
June 8, 2012
Saeed Sedeghi was arrested along with three other men in the capital, Tehran on 29 November 2011 for possession of the synthetic drug methamphetamine Held since his arrest in Kahrizak detention centre, in southern Tehran, he told his family that he was tortured or otherwise ill-treated, including having several teeth knocked out.
Saeed Sedeghi was tried unfairly on 26 May before Branch 30 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, where he was represented by a state-appointed lawyer. This lawyer had no contact with Saeed Sedeghi, or access to his casefile, before the trial. The court sentenced him to death on 2 June 2012 for participating with the three other men in the purchase and possession of 512 kilograms of methamphetamine. Saeed Sedeghi was also ordered to pay a fine of two million rials (approximately US$163) and sentenced to 20 lashes for individual possession of 21 grams of the drugs opium and marijuana. Over 100 executions for alleged drugs offences have been carried out in Iran so far this year.
Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
Urging the Iranian authorities not to carry out the flogging or execution of Saeed Sedeghi, and to commute his death sentence and that of anyone else on death row;
Calling on them to investigate promptly and impartially the reports that Saeed Sedeghi was tortured or otherwise ill-treated and to ensure he is given immediate and regular access to any medical treatment he may require, and to a lawyer of his own choosing. Anyone found responsible for abuses should be tried in accordance with international fair trial standards;
Recognizing that the authorities have a right to prosecute individuals for offences connected to the production and supply of illegal drugs, but pointing out that UN human rights experts have repeatedly made it clear drugs offences do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” to which the death penalty must be restricted under international law and that death sentences should not be mandatory.
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Leader of the Islamic Republic
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man to be executed for drugs offences
Iran has one of the highest rates of drug addiction in the world; in May 2011 the Head of the Law Enforcement Force Esma’il Ahmadi-Moghaddam said that there were probably more than two million users of illegal drugs in the country. It is also second only to China in the number of executions carried out each year. In 2011, of some 600 executions recorded by Amnesty International from both official and unofficial sources, 488 were for alleged drugs offences – a staggering 81 per cent. For more information, see Addicted to death: executions for drugs offences in Iran (MDE 13/090/2011), 15 December 2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/090/2011/en So far in 2012, 105 of the 139 executions acknowledged by the Iranian authorities and recorded by Amnesty International have been of convicted drugs offenders. Amnesty International has received credible reports of 80 other executions which were not officially acknowledged, mostly of people convicted of drugs offences.
The Interior Minister stated in October 2010 that the campaign against drug trafficking was being intensified, and the Prosecutor-General stated in the same month that new measures had been taken to speed up the judicial processing of drug-trafficking cases, including referring all such cases to his office. Under Article 32 of the Anti-Narcotics Law, those sentenced to death for drugs offences do not have the right to appeal, as their convictions and sentences are merely confirmed by either the President of the Supreme Court or the Prosecutor-General. In practice, it seems that many such death sentences are referred to the Prosecutor-General. This contravenes Article 19 of the Law on Appeals, which states that all death sentences are open to appeal, as well as Article 14 (5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that “everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law”.
In December 2010, amendments to the Anti-Narcotics Law extended the scope of the death penalty to include additional categories of illegal drugs (for example, methamphetamine - “crystal meth”), possession of more than specified amounts of which carry a mandatory death sentence. The UN Human Rights Committee has stated that “the automatic and mandatory imposition of the death penalty constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of life, in violation of Article 6(1) of the ICCPR, in circumstances where the death penalty is imposed without any possibility of taking into account the defendant's personal circumstances or the circumstances of the particular offence”.
Article 6 (2) of the ICCPR, to which Iran is a state party, states that “sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes”. UN human rights mechanisms, including the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions and the Human Rights Committee, have concluded that the death penalty for drug offences fails to meet the condition of "most serious crime". The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime have likewise expressed grave concerns about the application of the death penalty for drug offences.
Among others in Iran feared to be facing imminent execution are: Habibollah Golparipour, Zaniar Moradi, Loghman Moradi (all members of Iran’s Kurdish minority), Abd al-Rahman Heidari, Taha Heidari, Jamshid Heidari, Mansour Heidari, and Amir Muawi (or Mo’avi), Aref Hamidian (all members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority), Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, Abdolreza Ghanbari and Saeed Malekpour.
Names: Saeed Sedeghi
Gender m/f: m
UA: 165/12 Index: MDE 13/035/2012 Issue Date: 8 June 2012