/ 22 April 2021

Global executions down in 2020

Capital punishment reached its lowest level in a decade last year, according to an annual report released yesterday by Amnesty International. At least 483 people in 18 countries were executed worldwide in 2020, down from 657 the previous year. The report found Iran conducted the most executions with 246 but noted it was working off unverifiable data from China, North Korea, Syria and Vietnam. Amnesty said China is the world’s biggest executioner, putting an estimated thousands of people to death every year, but the data is kept under wraps by Beijing. And while capital punishment in Saudi Arabia and Iraq dropped by 85% and 50%, respectively, Egypt recorded a 300% rise when it executed 107 people last year. “We urge leaders in all countries that have not yet repealed this punishment to make 2021 the year that they end state-sanctioned killings for good,” secretary-general Agnes Callamard said.

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