It also appears a weaker Australian dollar and resurgence in domestic travel are not deterring Australian travellers... Read more...
2nd Jan 2013 5:09pm | By Jade Bremner
Human rights campaigners say that UK anti-drug smuggling aid money is being used to pay for executions in Iran.
Iran receives millions of pounds in donations for anti-drug assistance due to the fact it is a major transit route for drugs being smuggled to Europe Pakistan, the Persian Gulf, Turkey and Russia.
Reprieve, the human rights organisation, has produced a report that states there are links between UK aid and Iranian executions.
Maya Foa, a Reprieve investigator, explained to Sky News: "It's outrageous that Britain, which is supposed to be committed to the abolition of capital punishment, should in fact be funding executions for drug offences in Iran."
The majority of aid apparently goes to the improving the anti-narcotics police (ANP) service, this may include providing tools to help them in their jobs such as night-vision goggles, or providing education in GPS and customs training.
The success of the ANP department is monitored on arrests, which may result in execution.
Between 2007 and 2011 more than 1,200 people were executed in Iran for drug offences.
This news comes shortly after David Cameron has committed to spending 0.7 per cent of the GDP on aid. Explaining that the UK has a "moral obligation" to help other nation’s in need.
Foa, from Reprieve, explained that Iran has an “appalling record on human rights", and that there needs to be better procedures in place to monitor how this money is spent.
“Hundreds are being hanged every year, including children, vulnerable people and innocent scapegoats; that Britain should have played a part in this tragedy is shameful."
A UK Foreign Office spokesman told the Huffington Post that they had not funded any United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime programmes in Iran since 2007:
"The British government takes human rights very seriously and strongly opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, including for drugs offences.
"We regularly condemn Iran on its abhorrent use of the death penalty."
TNT Magazine- What motivated you to travel the world and work on international development? Brad: From a young age,... Read more...