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Executions worldwide at highest record since 2015: Amnesty

World Wednesday 29/May/2024 14:26 PM
By: DW
Executions worldwide at highest record since 2015: Amnesty

London: Human rights group Amnesty International said in a report released on Wednesday that 1,153 executions were recorded worldwide in 2023.

The figure represents a 30% increase when compared to the year before., and was the highest recorded by Amnesty since 2015, when 1,634 people were known to have been executed.

The number of countries that carried out the executions in 2023 was the lowest on record at 16, according to the UK-headquartered NGO.

"The lowest number of countries on record carried out the highest number of known executions in close to a decade," Amnesty said in its annual report on the death penalty and executions.

Where did the number of executions rise?
The human rights monitor attributed the "alarming” jump in executions to Iran, where numbers saw a nearly 50% rise when compared to 2022. Iranian authorities executed at least 853 people last year, compared to 576 in 2022.

"The Iranian authorities showed complete disregard for human life and ramped up executions for drug-related offences, further highlighting the discriminatory impact of the death penalty on Iran's most marginalized and impoverished communities," Agnes Callamard, Amnesty's secretary-general, said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia, Somalia and the United States made up the other four countries with the highest number of executions last year.

In the US, executions rose for the second consecutive year, from 18 to 24, all carried out by five states using lethal injections.

Lack of access to data
The report notes that the real number of executions is likely higher. Amnesty attributed this due to the classification of such data as confidential in countries like China, where "thousands of people" allegedly executed  not included in the calculations.

"China has yet to publish any figures on the death penalty; however, available information indicates that each year thousands of people are executed and sentenced to death,” it said, renewing its call for data.

Amnesty said "little or no information" was available on other countries, especially Belarus and North Korea, "due to restrictive state practice" there.