Iraq sentences seven to death for drug trafficking

The New Region

Jun. 09, 2024 • 2 min read
Image of Iraq sentences seven to death for drug trafficking

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq handed down death sentences to seven individuals, including one foreign national, for drug trafficking.

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq issued death sentences on Sunday for seven individuals convicted of drug trade, one of whom holds a foreign passport.


According to a statement from the media center of the Supreme Judicial Council "the court issued its first death sentence against four convicts for importing and exporting drugs. The second sentence was issued against three convicts, including one foreign national, for importing drugs from neighboring countries for trafficking purposes."


The statement added that "these sentences were issued based on Article 27/First of the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Law No. 50 of 2017, in conjunction with Articles 47, 48, and 49 of the Penal Code.


The Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Law No. 50 of 2017 was enacted in Iraq and published in the Iraqi Gazette on May 8, 2017, becoming effective on August 8, 2017.


Comprising 51 articles and 11 appendices listing controlled substances, this comprehensive legislation addresses all aspects of drug regulation.


It includes definitions, objectives like enhancing state efforts to combat illicit drug trafficking, and measures for preventing addiction and treating addicts.


A key feature is the establishment of the National Higher Commission for Drug and Psychotropic Substances Affairs within the Iraqi Ministry of Health.


Despite significant efforts, Iraq is still grappling with a worsening drug problem that has intensified since the US invasion in 2003.

The country, once a transit route for drugs from Iran and Pakistan, has now become a drug manufacturing hub, as noted in a 2022 report by the Washington Institute.

The country’s infrastructure, including rehabilitation centers, remains insufficient to curb the increasing drug use and trafficking.

Iraq's stringent narcotics laws, which impose death or life sentences for drug-related offenses, reflect the severity of the crisis. Yet, overcrowded prisons and inadequate rehab facilities contribute to high relapse rates among former inmates, complicating efforts to address the drug epidemic.

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