Iran's easing of drug laws could halt execution of 5,000 prisoners

Lifting of capital punishment for some drug-trafficking offences set to be applied retrospectively to convicts on death row
The Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

iran hangingThe lives of more than 5,000 prisoners on death row in Iran could be spared as a change in the law abolishes capital punishment for some drug-trafficking offences. Iran is second only to China in the number of prisoners executed in recent years, the majority put to death for drug offences. More than 500 people were executed in 2017. The softening of drug-trafficking laws was put into force in a communique by the head of the Iranian judiciary to all judicial officials. Campaigners said it was a potentially significant step towards halting executions worldwide. Iran has mostly resorted to a punitive campaign of arrests and executions to tackle drugs.