Executions on the Rise Globally Despite Abolishments: Amnesty International Report Reveals

Beijing, China – Despite the trend towards abolition of the death penalty in many countries, global executions are on the rise, marking a concerning pattern. Amnesty International’s latest report reveals that 55 countries still have the death penalty in place, with nine of them reserving it for the most severe crimes such as war crimes or multiple killings. Additionally, 23 countries have retained the death penalty but have not carried out any executions in over a decade.

The data collected by Amnesty International indicates a staggering number of 883 executions worldwide in 2022, with China being a predominant player in this statistic. However, due to China’s lack of transparency regarding its execution practices, the actual numbers could be higher. Alongside China, other countries contributed to the global execution rate, making 2022 the year with the highest number of executions since 2017, although still lower than peak years like 1988, 1989, and 2015.

The report also sheds light on the imposition of 2,016 death sentences across 52 countries in 2022, emphasizing the fact that thousands of people are currently awaiting execution globally. This leads to a grim reality where many individuals spend years, and sometimes decades, on death row before facing their fate.

When it comes to the countries that carried out the most executions in 2022, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the US emerged at the top alongside China. Amnesty International documented public executions in Iran as well as the execution of individuals for crimes committed while they were under the age of 18. The organization also highlights a persistently high rate of executions in certain countries like North Korea, where verification remains a challenge.

Saudi Arabia notably saw its highest number of executions in 30 years in 2022, showcasing a concerning trend. On the other hand, five countries that had not utilized the death penalty in several years resorted to imposing death sentences in 2022. While the US witnessed a slight increase in executions from the previous year, the numbers remain considerably lower than previous peaks.

Amnesty International’s report also delves into the execution of individuals for drug-related offenses, with 325 such executions reported globally in 2022. The organization points out specific countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore where a significant number of drug-related executions took place.

Furthermore, the report highlights the progress made in abolishing the death penalty, with 112 countries refraining from its use compared to only 48 in 1991. In 2022, six countries took significant steps towards abolition, with some completely scrapping the death penalty while others restricting its use to the most serious crimes. This demonstrates a gradual but significant shift towards the global abolition of the death penalty.

Amnesty International’s findings emphasize not just the numerical figures but also the human rights implications and ethical considerations surrounding the use of the death penalty worldwide. As the debate around capital punishment continues, it is crucial to assess the impacts of executions and explore alternative approaches to justice and criminal punishment.