Author Archives: Avinash Tharoor

President Joko Widodo advocates the death penalty to "send a strong message to drug smugglers"

Indonesia to execute drug offenders amid unfair trial claims

Indonesia to execute drug offenders amid unfair trial claims

The Indonesian government is set to execute more than a dozen people for drug offences, despite allegations that inmates’ confessions were induced by torture. These looming executions mark a continuation of the brutal counter-narcotic approach instigated by President Joko Widodo. Although details of the executions have not been officially announced, an anonymous government official told


Punitive drug laws hindering Kenya’s fight against HIV

The stigmatisation, criminalisation, and incarceration of people who use drugs in Kenya is undermining the government’s success in reducing HIV. As thousands descend on Durban this week for the International AIDS Conference 2016, the global fight against HIV/AIDS has again captured the world’s attention. The incidence of HIV infection is on a downward trend globally, falling


Theresa May: The new UK leader’s drug policy

Theresa May is set to become prime minister of the United Kingdom tomorrow. While serving as home secretary, May has supported a prohibitionist approach to drugs, and has overseen the annual number of drug deaths rising to its highest level since 1993. In 2010, Theresa May was appointed as home secretary, a cabinet position which


Why Naloxone should be accessible for everyone

A medical examiner has confirmed that musician Prince died of an overdose on fentanyl, a powerful opioid. This high-profile case illustrates why governments must embrace naloxone: a safe and affordable medicine that prevents deadly opioid overdoses. Naloxone is included on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) List of Essential Medicines; an assortment of medications described as


UK ‘legal highs’ ban to crackdown harshly on prison inmates

As the UK’s heavily-derided ‘legal highs’ ban takes effect, prisoners found in possession of these substances will face the prospect of an increased sentence, while the general public receive no criminal record for the same offence. The Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), described by civil society groups as “unworkable, unwieldy, and [likely to] increase health and

United Nations General Assembly

Over 1,000 leaders worldwide slam failed prohibitionist drug policies, call on UN for systemic reform

More than 1,000 international leaders – prominent in the fields of politics, health, academics and entertainment – have publicly called for a “new global response to drugs,” in advance of an upcoming United Nations session. The UN is currently holding a General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs, at its New York headquarters. The three-day