Annual executions recorded worldwide fell by virtually a 3rd in 2018 to the bottom determine in additional than a decade, Amnesty Worldwide says.
Some 690 folks have been executed in 20 international locations final yr, excluding China, a fall of 31% on 2017 – when 993 deaths have been recorded.
Executions in Iran fell by 50% after capital punishment was abolished for some drug offences, Amnesty discovered.
Amnesty says 1000’s have been in all probability killed in China however data are secret.
That will make it by far the main executioner.
The subsequent 4 nations are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iraq. They account for about 77% of the 690.
What does Amnesty’s report say?
Amnesty’s evaluation of the usage of the demise penalty, which was launched on Wednesday, says that whereas the variety of executions have fallen in some international locations, a number of others have seen an increase, together with the US, Japan, Singapore, South Sudan and Belarus.
“The dramatic international fall in executions proves that even essentially the most unlikely international locations are beginning to change their methods and realise the demise penalty shouldn’t be the reply,” Amnesty’s secretary basic, Kumi Naidoo, stated.
What number of international locations nonetheless have the demise penalty?
“It is a hopeful indication that it is solely a matter of time earlier than this merciless punishment is consigned to historical past, the place it belongs.”
Iran, which executes a whole bunch of individuals yearly, largely for drug offences, softened its drug crime legal guidelines in 2018. The transfer, which was utilized retroactively, affected some 5,000 prisoners awaiting execution.
On the finish of final yr, a complete of 106 international locations had abolished the demise penalty for all crimes.
The international locations that noticed important falls in reported executions between 2017 and 2018 are:
Iran – to 253 from 507
Iraq – to 52 from 125
Pakistan – to 14 from 60
Somalia – to 13 from 24
Have any international locations reinstated the demise penalty?
Sure. Final yr Thailand carried out its first execution since 2009, Amnesty discovered, whereas earlier this yr Sri Lanka started a seek for executioners as a part of a crackdown on drug smuggling.
Capital punishment is authorized in Sri Lanka, the place practically 1,300 individuals are at the moment on demise row, however no executions have taken place within the nation since 1976.
“These international locations now type a dwindling minority,” Mr Naidoo stated, including: “To all of the international locations that also resort to the demise penalty, I problem you to behave boldly and put a cease to this abhorrent punishment now.”