The S&D Group welcomes the adoption of the amendment to the Law Against Drug Trafficking in Iran, which, when and if fully implemented, would drastically reduce the application of the death penalty in Iran. The law as amended significantly raises the bar for the application of the death penalty for drug-related crimes. The S&D Group has always opposed death penalty worldwide, and the adoption of this amendment is a positive step in addressing the concerns of the international community regarding an unacceptably high number of executions in Iran.
S&D MEP and EP monitoring rapporteur on Iran, Knut Fleckenstein, said:
“We take note that the amendment has passed the muster of the Guardians Council and that the head of the Iranian judiciary Sadeq Larijani has issued an order to the judges to rescind death sentences that do not meet the new conditions set by the Iranian Parliament for the death penalty. This means that an estimated 4,000 prisoners currently on death row in Iran for drug-related crimes could have their death sentences revoked.
“We believe that this is a positive step, and call for the amended law to be fully implemented by the judges on all levels. This change has been made possible by years of campaigning by Iranian human rights activists. It is also a proof that the policy of critical and constructive engagement with Iran, pursued by the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini after the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and strongly supported by the S&D Group, also yields positive results in the area of human rights.”
The S&D Group reiterates its principled opposition to the death penalty in all cases, and calls on Iran, as a next step, to issue a moratorium on its application.