More than 30,000 drug addicts have been rounded up by revolutionary guards and Islamic militants in Teheran.
GV Farahabad Racecourse building in Teheran, Iran
SV TRACKING SHOT Lines of drug addicts
SV Woman handing out pills and chocolate (3 shots)
SCU Shaven headed addict waiting for water
SV Woman and assistant surrounded by addicts
SCU Addicts smoking
SV Addicts holding out hands for supplies
SCU addicts covering faces (4 shots)
SV armed man alongside woman as addicts seek supplies
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Background: More than 30,000 drug addicts have been rounded up by revolutionary guards and Islamic militants in Teheran. They are being kept at Teheran's main race-course while their future is decided.
SYNOPSIS: This is the latest act in a purge on drug addiction in Iran, headed by roving Islamic judge Ayatollah Khalkhali, who recently was appointed head of Iran's anti-narcotics strike force. The extremist Fedayeen Islam guerrilla organisation says those addicts who do not have a bad record will be rehabilitated at health centres.
The rest of the addicts face prison sentences. Forty-one dug traffickers already have been executed by firing squads during the first ten days of Ayatollah Khalkhali's appointment. He originally was appointed in a purely investigative role, but he insisted that as an Islamic judge he is entitled to order executions.
Official estimates say that more than two million Iranians are drug users -- that's about one in eighteen. According to Iran Radio some of the drug traffickers who have been executed are part of an international ring with contacts stretching from Asia to Canada.
Iran Radio also claims that drug trafficking offenders are linked with the Mafia and, as they put it, other professional murderers. The Islamic Republic newspaper reports that the street price of heroin has increased tenfold since the start of the latest crackdown. Several addicts in Teheran have died because they have been unable to get supplies.