Monday, February 29, 2016

More than $1 bn was transferred into Malaysia PM's accounts

More than $1 bn was transferred into Malaysia PM's accounts: Report

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2016
More than $1 bn was transferred into Malaysia PM's accounts: Report
Kuala Lumpur: Deposits into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak`s bank accounts ran to hundreds of millions of dollars more than previously identified by probes into state fund1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Citing two unnamed people familiar with flows into Najib`s accounts and a person familiar with one overseas investigation, the report said that more than USD 1 billion was deposited from 2011 to 2013, far more than the USD 681 million earlier identified.
The paper said global investigators believe much of the USD 1 billion originated with the state fund, known as 1MDB, but did not specify where the extra money came from or what happened to it.
The report contradicts a conclusion reached recently by Malaysia`s chief law officer.
Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Najib in January of any corruption or criminal offences, saying the USD 681 million transferred into Najib`s account was a gift from a member of Saudi Arabia`s royal family and that most of it was returned.
The prime minister`s office had no immediate comment, a spokesman said when contacted by Reuters.
Najib has been buffeted for months by allegations of graft and financial mismanagement at debt-burdened 1MDB and in particular by revelations of the transfer of around USD 681 million into his account in 2013.
He has denied wrongdoing, saying the funds were a legal political donation and he did not take any money for personal gain.
The Wall Street Journal report said money beyond the $681 million arrived in Najib`s account in 2011 and 2012.
It said investigators in two countries believed funds originated from 1MDB and moved through a complex web of transactions. Najib is chairman of the board of advisors to 1MDB, a fund set up in 2009, when he came to office, to invest in projects of national importance.
1MDB has said that it has not paid any funds into the personal accounts of the prime minister. A spokesperson for 1MDB declined to comment on the latest report when contacted by Reuters.
Probes into the fund`s finances have been opened in Malaysia, the United States, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, the Wall Street Journal said.

Moscow - Woman Carrying 4 year old child severed head arrested -shouted 'Allahu Akbar'

Moscow: Woman carrying 4-year-old child's severed head arrested

By Agencies |Posted 2 hours

She threatened to blow herself up while holding a 4-yr-old’s decapitated head and shouting “I am a terrorist”
Moscow: A woman holding a child’s severed head at a busy Moscow metro station has been arrested and charged with murdering a young child.
The woman with the head at Moscow metro station. Pic/YouTube
The woman with the head at Moscow metro station. Pic/YouTube
The woman, suspected of having psychological problems, was shouting “I am a terrorist” in Russian and threatened to blow herself up.
In footage purportedly of the incident posted online, the woman is seen dressed in black near an entrance to Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station in northwest Moscow.
According to witness reports, the woman pulled the severed head out of her bag shouting “I killed a child” and “I am a terrorist.”
Russia’s Interior Ministry confirmed that the woman had been holding a real human head of a child, thought to be four years old.
The woman from Uzbekistan was walking around the entrance to the Metro for about an hour. She appeared to be disoriented. She was wrestled to the ground by police.
Earlier on Sunday (Moscow local time), police said a child’s headless body had been found in an apartment block near the same Metro station that had been set on fire.
Rescuers recovered the body of a child after they had extinguished a fire raging in an apartment block, Russia’s Investigative Committee said. The woman is being detained for a forensic psychiatric examination.
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90 Million year-old coral fossil found in Narmada valley

Rare 9cr-year-old coral fossil found in Narmada valley

 | TNN |

Rare 9cr-year-old coral fossil found in Narmada valley
Indore: In a rare discovery, palaeontologists have stumbled upon a nine crore-year-old rare coral fossil similar to that of brain coral in Bagh beds of Narmada valley region. This suggests the presence of marine life and sea in Central India during evolution. Discovery of coral fossil is also likely to help experts get a peep into the environment of that era.

Paleontologist Vishal Verma, who recently discovered the fossil from Man River basin in Dhar district of the state, said it is one of the oldest evidences of sea incursion in Narmada valley. Verma has been working in Bagh beds for almost 20 years to gather evidences about marine life in the region. He has also been fighting to get a fossil park developed for preservation purposes.

According to research and the fossil discovery, it is being considered that sea and marine life existed in this part of the earth for around 30 lakh years.

"But we have little knowledge about lives and environment of that particular era," he said.

"This is a rare discovery from Narmada valley. Presence of such a coral has never been found and published in India. I have got the fossil confirmed from experts and it was not found in 700 documented varieties," Verma said.

Verma has been finding fossils of different marine life, including shark and oysters from the valley during his involvement in the field work for proposed national dinosaur fossil park in Dhar district.

Palaeontologists have confirmed coral presence in Mesozoic era - Age of reptiles. The era is subdivided into three major periods: the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. The era began in the wake of the Permian-Triassic extinction event, the largest well-documented mass extinction in Earth's history. The era ended with the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, another mass extinction, which is known for having killed off non-avian dinosaurs, as well as other plant and animal species. The Mesozoic was a time of significant tectonic, climate and evolutionary activities. The era witnessed the gradual rifting of the supercontinent Pangaea into separate landmasses that would eventually move into their current positions.

A faculty member at department of geology, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, West Bengal, Tapas Gangopadhya said Narmada valley is quite rich in fossils and coral presence suggests the area was under the sea. Corals were found in Mesozoic era. They were considered earliest species of life. Only a few corals have been reported in the country.

Oscars given to White's alone!

Pakistan - Protest aginst Hanging of Minister Killers

Nawaz Sharif received money from Osama Bin Laden


Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti has built a huge empire for himself in different parts of the world by making investment in real estates and engaging in other business activities in London, Dubai, South Africa, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, British Virgin Island, France, USA, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. This came to light from the documents recovered during the recent joint raids of the Enforcement Directorate and Investigation Wing of Income Tax in the Aircel-Maxis scam.
The investigation team got the details of Karti’s wealth following raids on his company, Advantage Strategic Consulting, which is involved in the Aircel-Maxis deal for financial transactions with telecom beneficiaries. 
Most of the transaction and purchases of properties and acquisition by Karti was executed through Advantage’s Singapore-based subsidiary Advantage Strategic Consulting Singapore Pte Ltd. According to the investigators, the ED and I-T (Investigation Wing) are expected to contact their international counterparts to get more details from the 14 countries as per the United Nation’s Convention on prevention of money laundering.
The 2G Court had already issued Letter Rogatory to Singapore for getting transaction details of the Karti-controlled company in Singapore.
The probe details coming out of the recent raids expose massive wealth acquired by Karti during 2006 to 2014 when his father was Finance Minister and Home Minister at the Centre. Karti’s Singapore firm acquired 88 acres in September 2011 at Surridge Farm in Somerset in the UK for one million Pounds. The deal comprises four land titles, which were seized by joint probe team of ED and I-T. Karti’s company in Singapore also has investments in Artevea Digital Limited in Cambridge and has transactions with another London-based company Oppenheimer Investments (UK) Limited.
According to the details unearthed by investigators, Karti’s Singapore-based firm had acquired majority shares of a big resort in Sri Lanka, known as Lanka Fortune Residencies. This company owns the prestigious resorts ‘The Waterfront’, ‘Weligama Bay Resort’ and Emerald Bay Hotel. During the raid, the tax sleuths unearthed the acquisition agreement papers between Karti’s Singapore company and share holders of the Sri Lankan firm. Document of money trail of investments made in a Sri Lanka with a Lanka-based financial firm, Union Development & Investment Company Private Limited, were also seized in the December raids.
The probe details how Karti’s Singapore firm routed money via Dubai to acquire three farms and vineyards in South Africa, identified as Rowey Farm in Grabouw, Cape Orchards and Vineyards Private Limited, and Zandvliet Enterprises, a wine and stud farm in Ashton. The Karti-controlled Singapore firm also had money transactions with Nicholls Steyn and Associates in South Africa.
The Dubai-based Desert Dunes Properties Ltd has also investment in Karti’s Singapore-based company Advantage. The sleuths have unearthed a money trail of 1.7 million Singapore Dollars between these firms. Another Dubai-based company, Pearl Dubai FX LLC, also had financial transaction with the Advantage.
The Advantage’s Singapore subsidiary had entered into joint ventures with the Philippines-based companies to obtain a franchise team of International Premier Tennis League (Asia). The Philippine firms, which were engaged in joint ventures with the Karti-controlled company, are SM Arena Complex Corporation, Sports Entertainment Events Management Inc and two persons from Philippines - Juna Kevin and Haresh C Hiranand.  
The Advantage had also had financial transactions with another real estate company in Singapore known as Real Beyond Pte Ltd having three subsidiaries in Malaysia. The investigation has unearthed that these transactions led to 16 land purchases in Thailand.
The Advantage’s Singapore unit has set up a firm in British Virgin Island (BVI), namely Somerset Surridge Ltd. The Advantage also invested 400,000 Singapore dollars in another BVI firm known as Full Innovations Ltd. It also has financial dealing with Geben Trading Limited in BVI and offices in Switzerland. This firm’s major transactions were through the famous Swiss Bank, namely UBS. The investigators got proofs of transactions in Dollars and Euro. The Advantage also has transaction of five million Singapore dollars with another firm in Singapore, namely Unison Global Investment Ltd.
The Karti-controlled company in Singapore has also entered into joint ventures with Gravitas Investments, Match Point International Tennis Events to buy a franchise Tennis team called ‘Manila Mavericks’.
The investigators unearthed that this deal was worth of 12 million US dollars and the money was paid in 10 installments. 
The Advantage had also acquired a residential flat in Malaysia worth 1.9 million Malaysian Ringgits from a firm called Peninsular Smart. The probe team also found that the Advantage holds franchisees of Café’ Coffee Day in some areas of Malaysia. The investigators have found several transactions to Karti’s Singapore firm with Malaysian companies. Malaysia is the head quarters of telecom giant Maxis which acquired Aircel in 2006. The raids have seized some payment details amounting to more than Rs.30 crore in foreign currencies.   
The Advantage in Singapore also opened a subsidiary firm in Barcelona in Spain known as Advantage Estrategia Esportiva SLU in August 2012. This is a sports academy having four acres with seven tennis courts. Karti-linked Singapore firm has also one million US dollar investments in a company in France known as Pampelonn Organisation. The Advantage also has transactions with a Greek firm known as Pisani John Sakellarios in Athens. 
Karti’s Singapore company has also transferred 50,000 dollars to a Bank of America account in the name of “Chennai Reserve - Business Advantage Checking” and the beneficiary of this transaction was one company called Kitchen Inc, a Delaware Corporation company in New York engaged in issuance of Convertible Promissory Notes.
The Chennai-based Advantage also has transactions with Aircel Televenutres, DCB Client, Diageo Scotland Limited, Katra Group, Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Unifi Wealth Management Ltd, VST Tillers Tractors, Carlton Trading Company, Claris Life Sciences’, ITC Centre, Best Land Realty Limited, Essar Steel Limited, Gokul Builders and Estates, S Kumar, INX Media, Reflections, Thiagarajar Mills Private Limited, Sak Soft, EL Forge Limited.  
All these massive investments, transactions, acquisition of companies and properties abroad were executed by the Advantage after the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006. It is learned that ED and IT has dispatched all these information to Supreme Court, which is monitoring the probe on Aircel-Maxis scam in a sealed cover and also shared with their counterparts in CBI. Both CBI and the ED had said in their chargesheets that FIPB clearance given by then Finance Minister Chidambaram to Maxis to acquire Aircel was totally illegal.

Triple talaq -SC seeks Centre’s response

SC seeks Centre’s response to Muslim woman’s plea against triple talaq

  • Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  •  |  
  • Updated: Mar 01, 2016 00:08 IST

A bench of Justices AR Dave and AK Goel issued notices to the ministries of women and child development, law and justice and minority affairs.
The Supreme Court sought on Monday Centre’s response to a petition filed by a Muslim woman to end gender discrimination in the minority community.
Shayara Bano has challenged the practice of triple ‘talaq’, ‘nikah halal’ and polygamy, calling it unconstitutional as it violated the right to equality.
Under triple ‘talaq’, a Muslim man can divorce his wife by pronouncing the word “talaq” thrice, whereas ‘nikah halal’ allows a Muslim man to take back his wife if he divorces her under the influence of alcohol. However, the wife should have remarried and divorced her second husband before going back to the first one.
A bench of Justices AR Dave and AK Goel issued notices to the ministries of women and child development, law and justice and minority affairs. The National Commission for Women was also asked to submit its response.
The bench declined to hear Shayara’s estranged husband Rizwan Ahmad and posted the matter for hearing on March 28.
This is the second time when the top court has decided to examine Islamic personal law to scrap provisions bias against Muslim women, often victims of polygamy and arbitrary divorce.

The same bench had in October last year taken suo motu cognizance of the alleged bias, a move welcomed by activists who saw it as a step closer to evolving a uniform civil code for the country.
A Mumbai-based Muslim organisation — Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind — has opposed the SC’s move, saying the judiciary cannot test the validity of personal law. On February 5, a bench headed by Chief Justice had asked the Attorney General to file a response to the issues raised before it.
Shayara’s counsel Amit Chadda and Balaji Srinivasan said that Muslim women on Monday are being divorced through Facebook, Skype and text messages.
Shayara, from Kashipur in Uttarakhand, was married to Rizwan of UP on April 11, 2002 and was divorced through triple-talaq on October 10, 2015.

Afzal Guru Support Mps Could Have Been Killed: Parliament Attack Case Judge

Those Backing Afzal Guru Could Have Been Killed: Parliament Attack Case Judge

Saudi man sentenced to 10 years, 2,000 lashes for atheistic Tweets

Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:50PM

Saudi members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or religious police, attend a training course in the capital Riyadh. (Reuters)

Saudi members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or religious police, attend a training course in the capital Riyadh. (Reuters)

A court in Saudi Arabia has handed down a 10-year prison sentence along with 2,000 lashes to a man, accused of posting atheistic and irreligious tweets.
The unidentified 28-year-old, who allegedly admitted to be an atheist in the court hearing, was fined 20,000 riyals, about $5,300, along with corporal punishment and jail term, Al-Watan online daily reported on Saturday.
The Saudi religious police said that they have found more than 600 tweets on the convict’s account about denying the existence of God, ridiculing religious beliefs, and disrespecting prophets.
The man has reportedly refused to repent, saying he had expressed what he believed.
The Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), or religious police, is a government agency tasked with enforcing Islamic law as defined in the Arab Kingdom. It is also responsible for monitoring social networks.

Katpadi People Protest Against Hotel Selling Pakistan Parotta

Coimbatore - People Protest Against Illegal Church buildings

Remove Prof.Sheldon Pollack form Murthy Classical Library. Demands 132 Intellectuals to N.R.Narayanamurthy

Make in India and remove Sheldon Pollock from Murty Classical Library, demand 132 intellectuals

Other suggestions are to bring on board traditional practitioners and to develop 'Swadeshi Indology'.
After renowned Sanskrit scholar Sheldon Pollock signed two statements condemning government action against students at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, he is now being targeted by another petition asking that he be removed as general editor of the Murty Classical Library of India.
The Murty Classical Library of India, funded by Rohan Murty, a junior fellow at Harvard University and son of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, plans to translate ancient texts in several languages including Sanskrit, Telugu, Hindi, Bangla and Pali into English to make them accessible to modern readers. It has published nine books so far.
A group of 132 scholars and intellectuals have signed a petition requesting the project's funder Rohan Murty to invite critics of Pollock for discussion and to align the ambitious translation project with the goals of the government of India.
“Such a historical project would have to be guided and carried out by a team of scholars who not only have proven mastery in the relevant Indian languages, but are also deeply rooted and steeped in the intellectual traditions of India,” the petition said. “They also need to be imbued with a sense of respect and empathy for the greatness of Indian civilization.”
This, the petition argues, cannot be done by Pollock who it states is well-known to have a “deep antipathy towards many of the ideals and values cherished and practiced in our civilization”.
The petition, posted on Friday, had almost 10,000 supporters by Sunday night.
Batting for government
One of Pollock’s perceived missteps, the petition states, is his position condemning policies of the Indian government, particularly his stand against government action at JNU in support of “separatist groups”.
“[It] is crystal clear that Pollock has shown disrespect for the unity and integrity of India,” the petition said. “We submit that such an individual cannot be considered objective and neutral enough to be in charge of your historic translation project.”
Other demands in the petition include aligning the Murty Classical Library of India with the principles of the government’s “‘Make in India’ ethos” and to reconstitute its board to give fair representation to traditional practitioners of the texts being translated.
“The project must be part of the “Make in India” ethos and not outsourced wholesale to American Ivy Leagues,” the petition said. “Just as your visionary role in Infosys showed the world that Indians can be the top producers of IT, so also we urge you to champion the development of Swadeshi Indology.”
Who wants this?
Of 132 signatories, 32 are from Indian Institutes of Technology across India. The petition lists Professor K Ramasubramanian, a Sanskrit scholar and translator at the department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT-Bombay as its first signatory. He did not respond to an email request for comment.
Though the majority of the petitioners are faculty members and administrators of universities, there are also a few former and current bureaucrats on the list. This includes N Gopalaswamy, former Chief Election Commissioner of India and current head of the Human Resource Development ministry’s committee on Sanskrit Promotion and CSR Prabhu, former director general of India’s National Informatics Centre.
“The [Murty Classical Library of India] project is very good, but it should be done by someone who knows our civilisation well,” said Varadraj Bapat, a signatory of the petition and a professor at the School of Management at IIT Bombay. “Today modern educated people don’t know Sanskrit, so the right to translate manuscripts should lie with those who really know Sanskrit. Subsequently people will read only the English interpretation, whereas the actual manuscripts will have much deeper meaning.”
Bapat believes that those who have a traditional understanding of texts will be better translators than outsiders.
Selective quotation
Among the sources the petition cites in its case against Pollock is a talk he gave at Heidelberg where he is quoted as having said:
“Are there any decision makers, as they refer to themselves, at universities and foundations who would not agree that, in the cognitive sweepstakes of human history, Western knowledge has won and South Asian knowledge has lost?...That, accordingly, the South Asian knowledge South Asians themselves have produced can no longer be held to have any significant consequences for the future of the human species?”
The petition neglects to note that in this passage Pollock was actually charaterising the arguments made by some sections, not offering his opinion. The petition also fails to cite a later part of the speech where Pollock clarifies that while he does not believe that “South Asia’s contribution is the most important ever made to world knowledge”, the region provides a “record of the achievements of human consciousness, equalled by few other areas of inquiry in its richness and duration, and which thereby allows us to frame strong hypotheses about the nature of that consciousness and the conditions of its transformation.”
Pollock argues:
“I have been privileged to live my life amid this body of thought, and I have glimpsed, or thought I have glimpsed, a vast range of things I would otherwise never have known: relationships of culture and power, for example, that were nothing like those we know in the contemporary world of nationalism and imperialism; forms of vernacular life, such as language ideologies, that constituted, not a compulsion driven by ethnicity, but an accommodation to, literally, the particular ecologies of particular places; a cosmopolitanism that was voluntary rather than compulsory (like, say, Romanization), ethnicities that were fluid (if they existed at all), universalism that managed to co-exist with particularism.”
— 'What is South Asian Knowledge Good For?' ‒ Sheldon Pollock
An Open Letter to Sri Rohan Murthy\
Dear Sri Rohan Murthy,
I read with interest your article on DailyO explaining why you funded Harvard to start and run the Murty Classical Library. I shall be honest and blunt to a fault without meaning any disrespect. I am sure you agree that a frank discourse and exchange helps all of us. If it helps, I’ve been a senior academic for over three decades in various spheres related to Indology and Sanskrit among other related disciplines. In that spirit, let me state at the outset that you have been taken for a ride by Prof. Sheldon Pollock  or to be more truthful, by an Anglophonic attachment. Just because Harvard has experience in bringing out a classical series is no reason for your giving them the largesse.  You could have easily done the job in India by getting Indian Universities involved in the project and thus assisted the development of classical studies in India.
You have paid for promoting the American academics and indirectly, put things under their control. To be fair, I know that several Indians will be involved in the project and do the translations, but this is not the same as a series coming out of India. You have basically entrusted your money into a non-indigenous centre of power that will translate and over time, order and repackage classical texts of India to suit the Western vision of India.  I have admiration for the scholarship of Prof. Sheldon Pollock but the fact that such an endowment should have been made to a foreign university smacks of total mistrust in the abilities of Indian scholars, their institutions and their ability to execute the task. I do not blame Prof. Pollock, as he is working well in the interest of his language and his culture.
Shri Murthy, if your father could build an IT firm that counts as a solid achievement by an Indian, why didn’t you think it fit to place trust in Indians scholars to do the same with done the translation series? That some of them will be employed by Pollock is not the point. Sri Rohan Murthy, you have also erred on another major count. You have empowered English and not “modern Indian languages”—I refer to the classics that Prof Pollock professes to get translated. What is needed is the translation of the classics of Sanskrit and of each modern Indian language into other 25 or so modern languages. That is the task which would have instilled greater intellectual awareness, and led to a literary renaissance in India. It would have given creative work to thousands of scholars in India and made Indian medieval heritage an available reality. Several major translations done in the mid-20th century are lost or are out of print. Translations into English from the so called regional languages are currently being done by American university departments as parts of their doctoral and higher research programs while there’s no comparable effort in our own academia.

My dear Rohan Murthy, you have provided financial help to all those employed abroad—to be candid, you have breathed fresh life into these universities which are increasingly starved for funds and shutting down Indology and/or Sanskrit departments.  You could have helped the Indian language departments immensely if such translations between the languages of India had been done by an Indian general editor located in India.  It would have helped the literary studies at our universities.
More generically, there seems to be a fundamental error in the minds of globalized Indians—that packaging Indian things into English empowers Indian things. This is a grievous fallacy. The Salman Rushdies of the world have brought some fame to India but how abiding the fame is, only time will tell. However, the Tulsidases and Tagores have constructed the spiritual, philosophical and literary consciousness of India. Let their languages be promoted with each other, for each other and by each other. With due respect, you seem to resemble another version of Chandrabhan Prasad who has recently consecrated a temple for the “English Goddess for Dalits” near Shahjahanpur.
In the end, Sri Rohan Murthy, I would say, yes, it is your money and your prerogative to donate to whoever you deem it. I don’t grudge the fact that you have chosen to serve Harvard. Perhaps, some other Indian corporate can still take the challenge and serve Indian languages, keeping both the control of the discourse as well as the funding rooted within India.
With best wishes,
Dr. Bharat Gupt
Associate Professor (Retd), Delhi University

An Open Letter to Sri Rohan Murthy

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Iran executes men of entire village for drug smuggling

Iran executes men of entire village for drug smuggling

Vice president says action was necessary to prevent crime spreading; Iran is world’s second bigger user of death penalty, after China

 February 27, 2016,

Iranian Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi in August 2015. (Tasnim News Agency/Mohammad Ali Marizad)
Iranian Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi in August 2015. (Tasnim News Agency/Mohammad Ali Marizad)
Iran executed the entire male population of a village for drug trafficking, a senior Iranian cabinet minister said.
In a Persian-language interview with the semi-official Mehr news agency published Tuesday, Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi didn’t mention the name of the village, or elaborate on when the executions were carried out — or whether they happened all at once or spread over time.
“We have a village in Sistan and Baluchistan province where every single man has been executed,” she said, according to a translation of her remarks by The Guardian.
She warned that as a result, violence there could increase. “Their children are potential drug traffickers as they would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families. There is no support for these people.”
Iran is one of the world’s largest users of the death penalty, ranking second behind China in 2014, according to the most recent figures from Amnesty. Most executions in Iran are carried out for drug smuggling.
The country straddles a major narcotics trafficking route linking opium-producing fields in Afghanistan to Europe. Sistan and Baluchistan province, where the executions in question took place, borders Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been the scene of fighting between smugglers and police.
“If we do not act against these people, crime will return,” Euronewsquoted Molaverdi saying. “Society is responsible for the families of those executed. Although the family support program was neglected for several years, it has now been relaunched as part of the sixth national development plan.”
In late October, the United Nations’ special investigator on the human rights situation in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, warned that executions in Iran have risen at an “exponential rate” since 2005 and could top 1,000 in 2015. He said Iran puts more people to death per capita than any other country, adding that the majority of executions do not conform to international laws banning the death penalty for juveniles and non-violent offenders.
Shaheed said 69 percent of the executions during the first six months of 2015 were reportedly for drug-related offenses, reflecting the increasing influx of drugs and rising drug abuse in the country.