AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Wednesday 7 November 2012
Last update 8 November 2012 12:19 am
TEHRAN: Iran executed ten drug traffickers in a prison in Tehran yesterday, a statement on the website of the prosecutor’s office said.
The men sent to the gallows were convicted of trafficking “hundreds of kilos” (pounds) of narcotics, the statement said.
Iran, where murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are punishable by death, is among countries with the highest annual record of executions in the world.
Three-quarters of executions in Iran involve drug traffickers netted in the country’s anti-drug laws.
Amnesty reported on Oct. 9 that 344 people had been executed since the beginning of the year in Iran, most of them traffickers. In 2011 it said that Iran had carried out at least 360 executions, three-quarters stemming from drug-related cases.
Iran’s geographical location along an important transit route for narcotics destined for Europe and the Middle East makes it victim to a severe drug problem.
Around two million people, out of a population of 75 million, are drug addicts, 400,000 of them heroin users, according to official estimates.
Some 3,656 deaths related to drug use were recorded during the last Iranian year (March 2011 to March 2012), according to official figures from the health ministry.