Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Death Penalty

Deputy Prosecutor Zebhi: Execution for Trafficking 30 Grams of Heroin with Prior Record

Fars News Agency
Fars News Agency / Translation by ABC
June 6, 2008
Newspaper article

Referring to the sentence for trafficking in drugs at the level of heroin and morphine, Hossein Zebhi stated: “Possession of more than 30 grams of these drugs will carry the death sentence, unless there is no prior criminal record.”

Quoting the State Prosecutor General’s Public Relations Office, Fars News Agency reports that Hossein Zebhi, the State Prosecutor General’s Judicial Deputy gave a report on the process of adjudicating drug crimes, and said: “In accordance with the Expediency Council’s Law for the Fight Illicit Drugs of 1998, judicial treatment of drug cases is different than other cases, whether it is regarding the various phases of adjudication, issuance of a sentence, appeal, or other relevant judicial matters, and because of their importance, they have their own specific mechanism.”

Zebhi proceeded to explain the process of adjudication within the State Prosecutor General’s Office and stated: “All drug-related cases across the country are adjudicated by judicial authorities and result in the issuance of a sentence; those cases that are appealable also go through the process at the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Supreme Court in accordance with the law. All sentences issued for drug related defendants are final and the only [appealable sentences are] death sentences that must approved by the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General in order to be implemented. Other sentences, whether incarceration, ta’zir punishments, or confiscation of property cannot be appealed.”

He added: “If prosecutors or sentence implementation assistant prosecutors detect a mistake in the judge’s ruling, they report the same to the State General Prosecutor, the Secretariat will ask the relevant judicial authority for the case, and, upon ascertaining the judges, assistant prosecutors, the Supreme Court, and the Prosecutor General’s opinions, the final ruling will be issued by one of the latter authorities.”

The State Prosecutor General’s Judicial Deputy emphasized: “Regarding trafficking drugs at the level of heroin and morphine, possession of more than 30 grams carries the death penalty, unless the [perpetrator] has no prior criminal record. Distribution and transportation of more than 5 kilograms of opium also carries the death penalty.”

This member of the Headquarters for the Fight against Illicit Drugs noted: “According to existing laws, in addition to the criminality of the manufacture and distribution of traditional drugs, any criminal act and traffic of industrial and chemical drugs and psychotropic drugs are subject to severe punishments and the actors and principals [of such crimes] are in no way immune. The trend in the policies is combating criminal networks and the entry points of drug traffickers. New drug policies that have been devised by the Expediency Council and of course approved by the Supreme Leader, indicate that all government organs and the heads of the three branches of the government must take preventive measures.”

He considered a determined and pervasive fight, prevention, rehabilitation, treatment, combating traffickers, and criminalization of the manufacture and distribution of all types of industrial and chemical drugs, as the most important issues in the times to come and stated: “The things that are distributed in society as narcotic are drugs such as Noorjizak and Tarjizak injection vials, some of which contain narcotics, and others that contain plu morphine.”

Zebhi continued: “In accordance with the differences that exist in current regulations, some are at the disposal treatment centers as medicine, the use of which in other circumstances would be considered a crime, and others are industrial, chemical, and psychotropic drugs that enter the country and therefore, if they are of a narcotic drug nature, they will have severe punishments such as incarceration and heavy penalties.”

He considered the study and analysis of the country’s drug situation a necessity and stated: “Given its geographic location and its neighbors, our country is a transit spot for drugs intended for international distribution, and decision making must therefore be made with an in-depth knowledge of the country’s situation.”

He added: “Last year, the Headquarters for the Fight against Illicit Drugs’ policy was based on combating use and supply, and making use of treatment centers so that addicts would be inclined to quit.”

He further added: “Given the high number of addicts and the existing facilities, we need a serious will to implement the policies that have been put in place, so that we can mount a serious fight with the dealers of death, bring addicts back into society, and at same time, put the control of borders and securing the financial resources, etc., on our agenda.”

Noting that forceful action is necessary in dealing with this sinister phenomenon, he added: “Decisiveness in treatment, as well as control and taking police, intelligence, and judicial actions in the domestic and international realm is a must.”

Noting the high costs of combating drugs, Zebhi added: “The process of combating drugs is the result of thousands of cases a year and numerous death sentences which are sent to the General Prosecutor and the Supreme Court for confirmation. Subsequent phases such as approval by the Pardon Commission, etc., are followed up by the relevant authorities.”