In Basra, Masses Jailed for Crystal Meth

Prison and police services in Basra, Iraq are stretched to the brink as scores of dealers and users are put behind bars, most of them unemployed and under 25. Crystal meth is the dominant drug.

The city’s massive oil wealth stands in stark contrast to its poor living conditions that sparked protests last summer.

Iraq once had the death penalty for drug offenses, but as of 2017 judges can order rehabilitation or jail. But while Basra awaits sufficient rehab centers, jail becomes the default option.

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