Use of death penalty reaches its highest level in nearly a decade: Amnesty International

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 29, 2024 IST

Use of death penalty reaches its highest level in nearly a decade: Amnesty International

Berlin, May 29: The use of the death penalty has reached its highest level worldwide since 2015, London-based human rights group Amnesty International said on Wednesday. 

Some 1,153 people were executed in 2023 across 16 countries, Amnesty said in a press release. The figure was up 31 per cent from 883 the previous year.

The most executions - almost three-quarters of the global total - were carried out in Iran. At least 853 people were executed in the Middle Eastern country in 2023, an increase of 48 per cent on the previous year.

In second place was Saudi Arabia with 172 executions, representing 15 per cent of the global total.

Somalia and the US also saw an uptick in death sentences last year at 38 and 24 respectively.

The number of countries employing the death penalty fell to a record low in 2023, after countries such as Belarus, Japan, Myanmar and South Sudan failed to record executions.

However, the number of new death sentences handed down worldwide in 2023 rose by 20 per cent to 2,428.

Some 144 countries have abolished the death penalty by law or in practice.

Julia Duchrow, the secretary general of Amnesty International in Germany, welcomed the drop in countries using the death penalty, but said she was concerned by the rise in total executions.

She highlighted the gross disregard shown by Iranian authorities for human life and criticized the use of death sentences for offences such as critical social media posts in Saudi Arabia.

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