Amnesty: Surge of Iran drug executions

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 8:16 AM
Amnesty: Surge of Iran drug executions

Amnesty International says there has been a dramatic rise in the number of drug-related executions in Iran.

In its report Thursday, Amnesty said at least 488 people were executed for alleged drug offenses this year. The number represents nearly a threefold increase compared to the 166 executions in 2009, according to the rights organization.

Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, Ann Harrison, called on Iran to halt such executions.

The organization also criticized Iran's justice system, saying that many of the suspects' trials were unfair and family members were given little to no warning of the executions.

Amnesty said some 4,000 Afghan nationals are thought to be on death row for drug offenses.