Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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Death Penalty

Majles Rep. Jahanabadi: Drug Execution Law Reform Crucial

ISNA Khorasan Razavi Bureau
Iranian Students' News Agency - Translation by ABF
January 22, 2017
Newspaper article

Dr. Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi, secretary of the Judicial Commission of the Iranian Majles, has stressed the necessity of reforming Iran's execution law. "The execution issue has itself become a harm," Jahanabadi stated.

In a conversation with a politics reporter from Iranian Students’ News Agency’s Khorasan bureau, Jahanabadi – who represents Taybad, Torbat-e Jam, and Salahebad – stressed that the drug issue had become a widespread social harm. “Between 60% of our prisoners are incarcerated for drug-related crimes such as robbery, homicide stemming from addiction, sales and purchases, trafficking, and so on. A harm this immense and widespread can’t be remedied easily.”

Jahanabadi took up the matter of reforming Iran’s drug law: “Reform of the law is crucial, because the execution issue has itself become a harm. When the punishment for drug trafficking was first established, the intent was to reduce access to and contamination by drugs. But the statistics show that it isn’t difficult to access drugs, and that the harm done by addiction and controlled substances isn’t being reduced. It’s therefore necessary to take a second look at the damage done by executions.”

“The reforms taken up by the Majles in the form of the amendments to the Anti-Narcotics Law mostly have in mind organized international crime rings, armed groups, and persons with a history of trafficking who, with certain conditions, again take up trafficking.” Jahanabadi, who is also a member of the Majles’s Sunni Commission. said that it’s necessary to review Iran’s policies in recent decades: “Let’s identify our strong points and weak points in order to move toward reinforcing the former and changing the latter.” “With the help of centers of higher learning and by collaborating with the judicial, intelligence, and security sectors, we’re in the process of wrapping things up so that we can remedy part of this problem,” he added.

“This isn’t to be considered outright abolition of capital punishment, but rather a move to make execution more targeted and direct it toward the major, dangerous, and influential trafficking groups. In fact we want to use this opportunity for reform to provide for parts of society which may gave been tainted by problems like poverty, unemployment in border areas, and problems at the social level.” Jahanabadi stressed that “Let’s not leave a family damaged and unsupervised in society by executing one person. At present, we have an extraordinarily high number of families of those who have been executed have met woeful ends in society. The philosophy behind imprisonment and punishment generally is to reform and discipline. It seems, however, that some of these instances of capital punishment have not been effective or deterrent.”