By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
The British Home Office published a document in April titled "Iran:Smugglers" to provide guidance for Home Office decision makers on handling particular types of protection and human rights claims for asylum seekers. The British government document is very informative on the situation of human rights in Iran and how political opponents are charged as drug dealers sentenced to death. The document reveals that political opponents and/or activists and their families are often detained on the pretext of being involved in drug smuggling. "In some cases those with a political profile or those who have come to the adverse attention of the authorities for other reasons could face victimization in the application of drug smuggling charges. This could lead to disproportionate punishment amounting to persecution or serious harm"
Based on the document, "Iran has some of the highest levels of drug addiction in the world, and as such drug trafficking/smuggling is a huge problem. Iran imposes corporal punishment and in some instances the death penalty for those caught smuggling drugs within and into the country and sources suggest that thousands of people have been executed for drug related offences Although there is a functioning criminal justice system in Iran there are numerous reports that the court system is subject to political interference, bribery, corruption, and that trials including those which award the death penalty, disregarded international standards of fairness. Defendants often find themselves denied access to representation and/or the right to appeal.
Judges disregard allegations that the accused was tortured or abused while detained and often accept forced confessions as evidence. There continue to be reports of politically motivated charges, a lack of due process, and regime officials, security and intelligence forces continuing to enjoy a high level of impunity Human rights observers believe that political opponents and/or activists and their families are often detained on the pretext of being involved in drug smuggling; some of them have been tried and sentenced to death on this basis."
The fact that despite all the harsh treatment of the drug dealers in Iran, drug trade is soaring in the country, many believe is due to the affiliation of the drug lords with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
On the changes of consuming alcoholic drinks, the document is quoting an article the Atlantic of 28 June 2012. It noted: ‘…even as the Islamic Republic forbids drinking, some of the regime's most hard-line factions might be profiting from the enormous black market trade. Analysts have long suspected that the powerful, shadowy Iranian
Revolutionary Guard Corps dominate the lucrative smuggling routes in and out of Iran, including the path across Iraqi Kurdistan, over which most foreign booze flows.
‘"The relative ease of obtaining alcohol -- and the vast quantities available -- have led many analysts to believe that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and other elements of the government actually profit from the illicit trade, among other banned industries," Memarian wrote, noting that an apparently disapproving Iranian member of Parliament had even hinted as much.
‘Memarian also quotes a Dubai-based exporter as saying that most of the "huge" market for smuggling alcohol into Iran goes through government hands. Paradoxically, this is the same regime -- although through different branches -- that, as part of a nationwide crackdown on imbibing, sentenced two Iranians to death for drinking. It's one of the many contradictions of Iran's theocratic, authoritarian rule over a devoutly Islamic, Western culture-loving society.’