Who are the world's biggest executioners?

18 April, 2017, 01:43 | Author: Jonathon Greene
  • In Iran convicted killers can cheat the gallows if their victim's families intervene. This man was due to be executed but his victim's mother slapped him in the face and his sentence was commuted to life in prison STOCK

"There were fairly credible professors within the Chinese system who also said that over the last 10 years in which China has been trying to make reforms to its death penalty system, that it's gone from a five-digit figure, meaning above 10,000, to now a four-digit figure, in the thousands".

Critically, the numbers presented by the group do not include thousands of executions it says are thought to have been carried out in China, where information about the use of the death penalty remains classified as a state secret.

Death sentences rose from 443 in 2015 to at least 1,086 in 2016, mainly due to an increase in Nigeria (from 171 to 527) which handed down more death sentences this year than any other country except China. The ruling Communist Party in china considers the death toll a state secret.

An Amnesty International report found there were 1,032 state-sponsored executions worldwide in 2016 - 602 fewer than in 2015.

However, no executions were recorded in the country.

Government officials did not immediately comment on Amnesty's report, however China's chief justice, Zhou Qiang, told the national legislature last month that over the past decade executions were limited to "an extremely small number of criminals for extremely serious offences".

"Iran alone accounted for 55pc of all recorded executions", Amnesty said. "You have to wonder how many people have faced the death penalty without the world knowing it", said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International at the launch of the report in Hong Kong.

"More than 400 people were believed to be under sentence of death at the end of the year".

Malaysia executed six people in 2014 and one person in 2015.

The defendants' right to a fair trial, it adds, was "blatantly violated". The number carried out in Georgia - nine - nearly doubled compared to 2015, while in Texas, the figure dropped from 13 to seven.

Most executions in Iran during 2016 were by hanging.

Egypt came in sixth place with a doubling of executions to 44 in 2016 from 22 in 2015.

Iran had 567 confirmed cases, while Saudi Arabia had 154 cases. It said that 31 were issued by special antiterrorism courts.

More countries are abolishing the death penalty or, failing that, simply not sentencing prisoners to death.

Of the 1,032 executions carried out in 2016, 87% took place in just four countries - Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. "This really stands in contrast with what the government is claiming in recent years".

In terms of sub-Saharan Africa, the use of the death penalty was mixed. The expansion of the scope of the death penalty through the anti-hijacking law is also inconsistent with India's worldwide obligations.

In fact, India was also among the few countries to impose death penalty for drug-related offences.

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