Arrests on pretext of narcotics rise three-fold

In a meeting with Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ali Mohammad Besharati, the regime's Interior Minister, stated that in the first 11 months of the current Iranian year (March 20, 1996 - February 1997), some 120,000 people had been arrested on narcotics charges.

Previously, the regime had announced 55,000 arrests on the same charges for the first eight months of the year. In other words, in December, January and February, 65,000 or on the average 730 people have been arrested every day on the pretext of drug trafficking. This shows a 200 percent increase in arrests relative to earlier in the year.

The astronomical rise in arrests is part and parcel of the regime's unprecedented campaign to suppress, intimidate and terrorize the public in a bid to thwart spreading uprisings and the general public's support for the Iranian Resistance.

In the past, the regime has arrested and executed many supporters of the Resistance or its political opponents on drug charges. The Special Representative of the United Nations Human Rights Commission has confirmed this practice.

These widespread arrests come despite the fact that the most senior officials of the mullahs' regime are directly involved in the distribution, import and export of drugs. Relevant international bodies have vehemently protested the lack of cooperation by the ruling religious, terrorist dictatorship to curtail the export of narcotics via Iran.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran draws the attention of international human rights organizations to the escalating violations of human rights in Iran and to the arbitrary rise in arrests and executions in recent months. It also calls for the condemnation of the mullahs' medieval dictatorship for its crimes against the people of Iran.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran - Paris
March 12, 1997

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