Public Lecture: European Aid for Executions

Posted by cws7 at Nov 10, 2015 10:45 AM |
International anti-drug operations and the death penalty

Maya Foa, Director from the not-for-profit organisation Reprieve and a human rights campaigner, will deliver the latest Scarman Lecture for the Department of Criminology on how European Union support for anti-drug operations internationally should change in light of the increased use of the death penalty for drug offences.

Maya will discuss Reprieve’s Stop Aid for Execution campaign which aims to expose the lethal failings of European counter-narcotics strategies, challenge the policies and attitudes which underpin them, and ultimately end European and international support for the use of the death penalty for drug offences worldwide.

It is illegal under international law to impose the death penalty for drug offences. UN experts have described the death penalty for drug offences as “incompatible with fundamental tenets of human rights.” The death penalty is completely prohibited in European Union countries.

The last 12 months have seen a global resurgence in the use of the death penalty for drug offences with a number of states executing people for drug-related offences at a significantly increased rate; seeking to re-introduce the death penalty for drug offences; or ending long-standing death penalty moratoria. The NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR) has published figures showing that Iran has hanged more than 500 people for drug-related charges in 2015 up to October 2015 – exceeding last year’s total of 367. The 500 make up the majority of the 800 people that IHR believes Iran has executed this year in total.

Despite the rising rate of executions, the EU continues to fund counter-narcotics programmes via UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which oversees anti-drug operations in countries which apply the death penalty for drug offences, such as Iran and Pakistan.

The lecture takes place on Wednesday 11 November at 5.15pm in the Frank & Katherine May Lecture Theatre, Henry Wellcome Building, University of Leicester. The lecture is free and open to member of the public.

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