9 November 2011

Judicial corporal punishment for Drug Offences

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Inflicting Harm: Judicial Corporal Punishment for Drug and Alcohol Offences in Selected Countries - 2011

Thousands of drug users and alchohol consumers – and people found in possession of small amounts of drugs and alcohol – are subjected to judicially – sanctioned caning, flogging, lashing, or whipping each year.

In a landmark study, released by Harm Reduction International in Malaysia recently, it has been found that over forty states apply some type of judicial corporal punishment for drug and alcohol offences. The vast majority of these sentences are handed down in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The reports states that state-sanctioned violence such as this is in clear violation of international law.

The use of caning, flogging, lashing and whipping is in direct violation of international law that prohibits the use of corporal punishment. UN human rights monitors have expressed their concern number of times about the legislation in various countries that allow law enforcement to inflict these types of cruel, inhumane and degrading punishments. Judicial corporal punishment is practiced in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Brunei, Darussalam, Maldives, Indonesia (Aceh) and Nigeria (northern states) and many more.

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