The number of global executions in 2018 dropped to the lowest in a decade, a report released on Wednesday by human rights group Amnesty International said.
“No less than 690 executions in 20 countries had taken place in 2018, down 31 per cent from at least 993 executions in 2017.
“The dramatic fall in executions prove that even the most unlikely countries are starting to change their ways and realise the death penalty is not the answer,’’ Amnesty International Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, said.
The group attributed the reduction to a fall in executions in countries like Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Somalia.
However, the authors cautioned that the news was marred by the fact that the number of executions had risen in countries like Singapore, Belarus, South Sudan, Japan and the U.S.
“In addition, countries like Botswana, Thailand and Taiwan had decided to re-instate and carry out executions as a form of punishment,’’ the report said.
The group also warned that access to data was difficult to come by and actual figures may be higher than initially reported.
The report placed China as one of the world’s top executioners.
The group said it believed thousands of people were sentenced to death and executed each year there.
“However, the full extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as the data is classified as a state secret,’’ the report said.
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iraq followed China in the list of the world’s top executing countries. (dpa/NAN)