Britain's £13m overseas war on drugs 'could be helping fund executions'

Richard Branson and former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald lead call for inquiry into Home Office’s support for anti-narcotics operations

Thirty-seven public figures, including Sir Richard Branson, Lord Macdonald QC, the former director of public prosecutions, and Alistair Carmichael, the former Scottish secretary, have called for an urgent inquiry into the UK’s role in anti-narcotics operations abroad, which they say have helped to fund executions in countries such as Pakistan and Iran.

Last year, the government spent almost £13m on anti-narcotics operations in Pakistan. They have resulted in 112 drug offenders in Pakistan facing the death penalty in 2015. Iran has executed at least 394 drugs offenders this year andSaudi Arabia has beheaded at least 47 non-violent drugs offenders.

The 37 people and organisations have signed a letter to Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee, urging him to launch an inquiry into the Home...

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