The number of executions in the world was reduced in 2018 by 31%, reaching the lowest level in at least the last decade. This is stated in the published on Wednesday the report of the NGO Amnesty International.
In total, as highlighted in the annual survey, the number of executions in the world decreased from 993 in 2017 to a minimum of 690 in 2018. “In General, figures for 2018 show that the death penalty is definitely on the decline and that around the world is taking effective steps to put an end to this cruel and inhuman punishment,” the report said.
As noted, in this regard, the Secretary-General of Amnesty International Kumi Naidoo, “the sharp reduction in the overall number of executions in the world proves that even countries that least expect it, begin to change their approach and understand that the death penalty is not the solution”. In particular, as noted in the report, after changes to the law on combating drugs, the number of executions in Iran, a country where the death penalty is often decreased by 50%. In Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia also noted significant reduction in the number of death sentences.
At the same time, human rights activists noted the growing number of executions in such countries as Belarus (at least four), Singapore (13), USA (25) and South Sudan (at least seven), and Japan recorded the largest number of executions for many years (15). In addition, Thailand gave the death sentence for the first time since 2009.
As noted in the study, the country where executed the most people is China. However, NGOs draw attention to the fact that the true scale of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as data on this are a state secret. According to Amnesty International, in China “every year thousands of people impose the death penalty, and thousands of people executed”.
Following China in the list of countries, where in 2018 it is executed the greatest number of death sentences, were: Iran (at least 253), Saudi Arabia (149), Vietnam (at least 85) and Iraq (52).
Amnesty International also expressed concern about the sharp increase in the number of death sentences in some countries in 2018. So, in Iraq, the number has quadrupled from 65 in 2017 to 217 in 2018. In Egypt the number of death sentences has increased by more than 75% from 402 in 2017 to 717 in 2018.
With regard to the DPRK, Amnesty International stated, “people continued to be executed”, however, confirm this information is not possible.