UN expert decries Iran executions of 12 linked to drug crime

A U.N. expert focusing on Iran is condemning the execution of 12 people there over the weekend on drug-related charges

GENEVA (AP) -- A U.N. expert focusing on Iran has condemned the execution of 12 people there over the weekend on drug-related charges.

Special rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed on Monday said executions for drug-related offenses like those on Saturday violate international law, and Iranian officials have themselves say such executions haven't been effective in preventing drug-related crimes.

Shaheed's office noted the case of Alireza Madadpour, who was one of the 12, saying he was tried after being arrested when less than a kilogram of crystal meth was found in a raid on a house he cleaned. It said Madadpour never met his state-appointed defense lawyer and the trial lasted 20 minutes.

Shaheed has cited Iran Human Rights Documentation Center figures showing 966 people were executed last year -- over half related to drug-law violations.