Amnesty Says Executions Fell, But China Still Tops List

April 13, 2018 by  



China remained the world’s top executioner, the rights group said. Though the precise number of executions in China remains unknown, Amnesty said “thousands of executions [are] believed to have been carried out” in the country last year.

Four countries — Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan — accounted for 84 percent of the reported executions. Iran had at least 507 executions, Saudi Arabia at least 146, Iraq at least 125 and Pakistan at least 60, Amnesty said.

Five other countries — Botswana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sudan and Taiwan reported no executions.

Amnesty International said the drop in executions was driven by growing aversion to the death penalty around the world, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa where 20 countries have abolished the practice and others are taking steps to repeal it.

“Developments across sub-Saharan Africa in 2017 exemplified the positive trend recorded globally, with Amnesty International’s research pointing to a further decrease in the global use of the death penalty in 2017,” said the report.


In the United States, the only Western country with the death penalty, there were 23 executions and 42 death sentences. Though slightly higher than 2016, both figures are in line with historically low trends seen in recent years, Amnesty said.

In Europe and Central Asia, Belarus was the only country to execute people, with at least two executions and at least four death sentences, Amnesty said.

The global trend toward abolishing the death penalty continued.



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