Berlin - The number of executions has continued to decline in the past year, according to Amnesty International. At least 993 people were executed worldwide, more than half of them in Iran, according to the human rights organization published today. This means there were 39 fewer documented cases than in 2016.
However, the report does not contain any information about China, which does not publish official figures. It is estimated that more people are executed in the People's Republic than in the rest of the world combined. It can be assumed that in China the death penalty will continue to be "imposed and carried out thousands of times," said Amnesty. The human rights organization is committed to the complete abolition of the death penalty.
Executions in 23 countries< p> Executions in 23 countries are documented in the annual report. Iran leads the statistics well ahead of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. According to this, at least 507 people were executed in the Islamic Republic, including five convicts who were minors at the time of the crime. The four countries are responsible for 84 percent of the executions documented in the report. In the United States, 23 people were reportedly executed.
According to Amnesty statistics, at least 2,591 death sentences were passed worldwide in 2017, 526 fewer than the year before. “Every year, more states are removing this inhuman punishment from their law books,” explained the German Amnesty expert Andrea Berg.
Last year, Guinea and Mongolia completely abolished the death penalty. In total, no more death sentences were passed in 142 countries. "Nevertheless, there were more than 20,000 people on death row worldwide in 2017," complained Berg.
According to the report, the number of prisoners sentenced to death rose by 16 percent to 21,919. Amnesty says the death penalty is increasingly being used in the anti-drug fight. 15 countries imposed or carried out death sentences for drug offenses in 2017, most of them in North Africa and the Middle East.