« SCOTUS taking on array of criminal justice cases this week in which Justice Scalia's absence will again be consequential | Main | Highlighting the enduring lack of transparency about pleas and the work of prosecutors ... and the problems this may create »

February 29, 2016

Iran reportedly wages the "war on drugs" by executing the "entire adult male population" of a village!?!?!

There is much talk in the United States about causalities of all sorts from the tough ways in which US governments use criminal justice powers of all sorts to wage a "war on drugs."  But this FoxNews article reports on Iran waging the war with a whole new type of extreme powers.  The piece is headlined "Iran reportedly executes every adult man in one village for drug crimes," and here are the stunning details:

The entire adult male population of a village in southern Iran was executed for drug offenses last week as part of a country-wide crackdown on trafficking, state media report. Iran’s vice-president for women and family affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, revealed the news in an interview with the Mehr News agency last week, but did not say when or where the executions took place, or how many people were killed.

“We have a village in Sistan and Baluchestan province where every single man has been executed,” she said, according to The Guardian.  “Their children are potential drug traffickers as they would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families.  There is no support for these people.”

Molaverdi said President Hassan Rouhani’s government has brought back previously-axed family support programs.  “We believe that if we do not support these people, they will be prone to crime, that’s why the society is responsible for the families of those executed,” she said.

Human rights groups denounced the executions.  “The apparent hanging of every man in one Iranian village demonstrates the astonishing scale of Iran’s execution spree,” Maya Foa, from the anti-death penalty group Reprieve, told The Guardian.  “These executions — often based on juvenile arrests, torture, and unfair or nonexistent trials — show total contempt for the rule of law, and it is shameful that the UN and its funders are supporting the police forces responsible.”...

The Islamic Republic hanged 753 people in 2014, more than half of whom were convicted of drug-related offenses, the group said. In 2015, nearly 700 people were executed in Iran in the first half of the year alone, it added. The mass executions have led activists to call on the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime to stop funding the Iranian government’s anti-narcotics campaign until Tehran ends the use of capital punishment for such offenses, The Guardian reports.

Candidly, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the notion that the Iranian government, in order to try to stop drug trafficking in the name of helping "women and family affairs," would execute the entire adult male population of a village in southern Iran (and then, apparently, will provide government support for the families of those executed). But, absent further reports that this story is inaccurate, I have to conclude that Iran believes no punishment is off-the-table and unjustified when trying to combat the scourge that is drug use and abuse.

February 29, 2016 at 01:35 PM | Permalink


Corroboration, please.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Feb 29, 2016 1:45:30 PM

These are the good old days that Trump pines for. Maybe he's right.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 29, 2016 1:48:11 PM

It has the highest rate of drug use of any country so I can't say it's unbelievable, at least.

Posted by: anonymous | Feb 29, 2016 1:49:23 PM

Nonsense. There are neither drug dealers nor gay folks in Iran.

Posted by: Harvard Grad and proud | Feb 29, 2016 2:38:21 PM

This is not only barbaric, it is sexist. The Iranian authorities were executing these men because of their gender! Since when does being a male adult automatically make you a drug offender. Is Iran also implying that only males are capable of committing the drug offenses that the authorities claim these males allegedly did?

Posted by: william r. delzell | Mar 1, 2016 9:27:54 AM

But Iran doesn't incarcerate like we do, so they must be doing something right?

Posted by: federalist | Mar 4, 2016 2:32:47 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB