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8 poppy farmers sentenced to prison in Helmand

Tue Jan 24, 11:55 am

Among the hundred cases related to poppy farmers, only eight of them have been referred to the judicial organs.

Helmand Police Chief Kamaluddin Sherzai said over the past four months, about two thousand peasants who had cultivated poppy in their field have been arrested, among which only 8 were introduced to judicial organs while the others released on parole.

Mr. Sherzai said “the eight farmers that were introduced to the judicial organs were accused of encouraging other small farmers to poppy cultivation and are sentenced for three to ten years imprisonment.”

Mr. Sherzai while blaming Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency (ISI) and land usurpers for the poppy cultivation said most of the benefits of drugs are gained by Taliban militants.

He also criticized ISAF officials for not acting on their promises to assist the farmers. He said if ISAF had acted on their promises, the dramatic grow of the poppy cultivation would not seemed in Helmand.

Helmand province is the largest producer of opium in the country and according to the recent statistics; about 62 thousand hectares of land are cultivated opium in Helmand province.

While 180 thousand of farmers have been distributed improved seeds and fertilizers in Helmand.

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