Bangladesh’s Parliament Should Reject Strict Draft Drug Law, Move Toward More Effective Drug-Control Policy

Project Syndicate: Bangladesh’s Deadly War on Drugs
Naomi Burke-Shyne, executive director of Harm Reduction International

“…[Under the Bangladesh authorities’ draft law submitted to Parliament,] possession of more than five grams of ‘yaba’ — a methamphetamine-based drug targeted by the government’s crackdown — could be punishable by death. … Despite what governments claim, the death penalty for drug offenses does not target kingpins. It is the poor and the most vulnerable who suffer. … Moreover, there is simply no evidence that the death penalty for drug use lowers rates of consumption or trafficking. … Bangladesh’s Parliament still has an opportunity to reject the draft law and move the country toward a more effective drug-control policy. Enacting the death penalty would only exacerbate an already deteriorating human-rights situation. Around the world, countries are recognizing that executions, much less extrajudicial killings, have no effect on the drug trade. Bangladesh must recognize this, too” (10/24).