Rights Report Imposes No Legal Obligation

Rights Report Imposes No Legal ObligationRights Report Imposes No Legal Obligation

Capital punishment for drug-related crimes has not been banned by international law, every country can invoke its own domestic law in this regard, an international affairs expert said on Monday.

"(UN rights investigator) Ahmed Shaheed's remarks cannot create a legal obstacle in the way of (applying death penalty in Iran) since this kind of punishment is recognized by the country's constitution," Ali Khorram told ISNA.

In his annual report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, claimed half of the people who were executed in Iran last year were convicted of drug offences and called for the revocation of capital punishment for such crimes.

The rules concerning execution in any country are dictated by the constitution of the same country, Khorram said, noting, however, if a large majority of countries agree to abolish capital punishment, the remaining countries must also accede to the execution ban.

In order for the ban to become binding as an international rule, it should first be adopted by about 180 countries, while the figure now stands at 140, the former envoy to the UN in Geneva explained.

Increasingly more countries are trying to replace execution with other types of punishment to address drug crimes, he said, adding, "The judiciary is under no legal obligation yet to rescind capital punishment for drug smuggling."