Iran executed 11 inmates last week for drugs, reports the International Human Rights Campaign in Iran. The country has executed at least 955 people on drug-related charges since 2011, the group reported in March.

In the last year, Iran has pardoned 16 condemed drug offenders who were able to memorize “at last half or all of the Quran in prison,” said Hadi Sadeghi, the Judiciary’s Cultural Deputy. The Quran is about 78,000 words long, two-thirds the length of the New Testament. It is worth considering how clemency — like punishment — is connected to cultural concepts that often favor the affluent and educated. 

The nine individuals hanged May 12 were convicted of possessing or selling hash, cocaine, heroin or opium. The government released their initials:

A.A.
A. Kh.
A.O.
H.K.
L.B.
M.J.
M.Q.
M.Q.
M.T.

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