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New report connects international aid for drug enforcement to gross human rights violations

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New report connects international aid for drug enforcement to gross human rights violations PR Newswire LONDON, June 21, 2012 LONDON, June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of dollars in international aid for drug enforcement is spent in countries with extremely poor human rights

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New report connects international aid for drug
enforcement to gross human rights violations
PR Newswire
LONDON, June 21, 2012
LONDON
,
June 21, 2012
/PRNewswire/ -- Millions of dollars in international aid
for drug enforcement is spent in countries with extremely poor human rights
records resulting in serious abuses, according to a new report by the non-
governmental organisation, Harm Reduction International.
Launched in advance of the UN day against drugs, on
June 26
, the report
Partners in Crime: International Funding for Drug Control and Gross Violations
of Human Rights tracks drug enforcement funding from donor states, often via
the United Nations, to countries where executions, arbitrary detention, physical
abuse and slave labour are weapons in the war on drugs.
"There are no safeguards, and when the UN acts as a conduit for these funds, a
further layer of bureaucracy separates the money from the abuses. Instead of
the UN being a guardian of human rights it becomes more like a laundry
mechanism, washing the funds of any form of accountability," said Damon
Barrett, Deputy Director of Harm Reduction International.
Thirty-two states or territories retain the death penalty for drug offences.
Among those,
China
,
Iran
and
Vietnam
apply capital punishment prolifically for
drug offences and all are in receipt of international funding and UN assistance
for drug enforcement. Harm Reduction International estimates as many as
1,000 people are executed every year for drugs.
Partners in Crime
illustrates the very recent case of a UK woman Khadija Shah,
now facing the death penalty in
Pakistan
, who was captured through a
programme paid for by Canadian government money aimed at strengthening
the
Pakistan
government's capacity at international transit points, including
airports.
The report also documents the involvement of the Australian Federal Police in
the capture in
Indonesia
of the 'Bali Nine,' a group which included Australian
citizens, some of whom are now on death row as a result.
"In some cases donor states have effectively paid for the capture of their own
citizens only for them to be later sentenced to death," said Barrett.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been held in drug detention centres in
Asian countries, in particular
China
,
Vietnam
,
Cambodia
and Lao PDR,
supposedly for the purpose of treatment. They are held without trial for months
or even years.
Despite the fact that serious concerns have been raised about the absence of
due process guarantees and forced labour, psychological and physical abuse
within the centres, European donors,
Australia
and the US have supplied
funding, including via the United Nations, for capacity building and even
infrastructure.
"In the name of drug control, donors are supporting practices in other countries
that they themselves regard as morally reprehensible and illegal," concluded
Barrett.
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