IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Autor)
A copy of Iran's Anti-Drug Law of
25 October 1988 is available in section 14 of Legislation in
Iran available in Regional Documentation Centres. This
document mentions the crimes of storing, transferring, dealing,
smuggling, hiding, producing, distributing, as well as being
addicted to drugs, but there is no mention of the crimes of
"transporting" or "carrying" of drugs.
There are numerous documentary references
to the existence of the death penalty in Iran for persons in
possession of more than 30 grams of heroin (Voice of the Islamic
Republic of Iran 27 Feb. 1998; Xinhua 23 Nov. 1998; DPA 2 Dec.
1996), as well as the execution of persons in Iran convicted on
drug charges (ibid.; Reuters 26 June 1996; International
Narcotics Control Strategy Report 1 Mar. 1991). In addition to
the references to the existence, and use of, the death penalty,
there are numerous references to the Iranian government's tough
stand on drugs (AFP 10 Aug. 1998; Xinhua 3 May 1998; AP 31 Jan.
1999). A 27 February 1998 report from the Voice of the Islamic
Republic of Iran states that "sentences passed against producers
and traffickers had been lengthened ten times" and that the
country's Expediency Council had "recently passed a law for
increasing punishment for drug activities."
However, there are other reports that
indicate less severe punishment for users of drugs. The Press
Association Newsfile states that "no one was reported executed for
just using drugs. Addicts arrested for the first time are usually
detoxicated in rehabilitation centres and released. Tehran
newspapers say many go back to drugs" (23 June 1993). A 26 June
1996 Reuters report states that Iranian newspapers claimed that
Iranians "officials were preparing a bill allowing Iran's estimated
one million addicts to seek treatment without fear of prosecution."
Furthermore, the government was considering setting up "more
special camps for drug-related prisoners" (Xinhua 3 May 1998; AFP
10 Aug. 1998).
There are also numerous references to many
arrests involving drugs. These include a 2 December 1996 DPA report
that states "Iranian police arrested more than 14,000 drug
traffickers during the past eight months"; a 26 June 1996 Reuters
report of statements from Iranian police indicating that 46,000
people had been arrested on drug charges in the year ending 19
March 1996; a 15 January 1997 AFP report that 14,670 drug
traffickers were arrested between March and November of 1996; a 24
June 1996 Reuters report of an Iranian radio broadcast indicating
that 2,800 drug traffickers and 7,000 drug addicts had been
arrested in a "recent month-long crackdown"; and, a 23 June 1993
report from Press Association Newsfile indicating that 8,615 drug
addicts and 882 drug dealers were arrested in a "five-day sweep" in
June of that year. There are also references to the high proportion
of Iranian prison inmates who have been convicted on drug charges:
"60 percent of 140,000 inmates" (AFP 10 Aug. 1998; The
Christian Science Monitor 2 July 1998); 60 per cent of all
inmates (Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran 17 Feb. 1999); and,
the majority of Iran's 110,000 prisoners (Xinhua 19 Jan. 1999; DPA
22 Feb. 1999).
This Response was prepared after
researching publicly accessible information currently available to
the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is
not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any
particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the
list of additional sources consulted in researching this
Agence France Presse (AFP). 10 August
1998. "Iran to Set Up Special Camps to Detain Drug Traffickers."
_____. 15 January 1997. "Iran Arrests
Two Tanzanians Smuggling Heroin in Stomachs." (NEXIS)
Associated Press (AP). 31 January 1999.
"Iran Seizes Tons of Drugs in Raid." (NEXIS)
The Christian Science Monitor.
2 July 1998. Scott Peterson. "Winning its Heroin War, Iran Wins
Praise of US." (NEXIS)
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). 22
February 1999. "Amnesty for a Quarter of Iranian Prisoners."
_____. 2 December 1996. "Iranian Police
Arrest More Than 14,000 Drug Traffickers." (NEXIS)
International Narcotics Control
Strategy Report. 1 March 1991. "Iran." (U.S. Department of
Press Association Newsfile. 23 June
1993. "Persistent Drug Users Face Execution in Iran." (NEXIS)
Reuters. 26 June 1996. "Iran Holds Drugs
Bonfire on Anti-Narcotics Day." (NEXIS)
_____. 24 June 1996. "Iran Arrests
Nearly 10,000 in Anti-Drugs Campaign." (NEXIS)
Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran
[Tehran, in English]. 17 February 1999. "Head of Judiciary Says
Drug Smugglers 60 Per Cent of Prisoners in Iran." (BBC Summary 19
_____. 27 February 1998. "Iran Increases
Punishment of Drug Traffickers Tenfold." (BBC 27 Feb.
Xinhua. 19 January 1999. "Iranian Leader
Pardons 1,428 Prisoners." (NEXIS)
_____. 23 November 1998. "Iran Seizes
Opium, Drug Traffickers." (NEXIS)
_____. 3 May 1998. "Drug Addicts Double
in Iran in 4 Years." (NEXIS)
Additional Sources Consulted
Jane's Intelligence Review
[Surrey, UK]. 1998.
United Nations, Commission on Human
Rights, New York, NY USA. 1994. "Final report on the situation of
human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran prepared by the
Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights, Mr.
Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, pursuant to Commission resolution 1993/62 of
10 March 1993 and Economic and Social Council decision 1993/273."
New York, NY: United Nations.
Electronic sources: IRB Databases,
LEXIS/NEXIS, Internet, REFWORLD.
One non-documentary source contacted
could not provide information on the requested subject.