By Sirin Kale for VICE. Last week, Dainius Pūras, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, released a statement expressing concern that UN policies were leading to drugs executions and human rights violations. Pūras called on Yury Fedotov, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to do more ahead of the UN Special Session on Drugs, to be held in April 2016.
In recent months three special rapporteurs have released separate statements expressing concern about how the UNODC is cooperating with repressive regimes such as Pakistan and Iran.
Activists have long called on the UN to stop funding anti-drug programs in countries such as Iran and Pakistan. Although the UNODC (which leads the UN’s efforts on drugs policy) publicly opposes the use of the death penalty for drug trafficking, it funds and provides other resources to anti-trafficking operations in countries which execute drug mules, thereby indirectly contributing to a large number of deaths.