Amnesty report reveals global spike in executions

Mar 27, 2014

Iran and Iraq drove a worldwide increase, while Texas was responsible for 40 per cent of American executions


THE number of state sanctioned executions worldwide rose 15 per cent in 2013, a new report from Amnesty International has revealed.

At least 778 executions are known to have been carried out in 2013, compared to 682 in 2012. But this figure does not include the thousands of people believed to have been put to death in China, where information on executions is a state secret.

The increase was driven largely by "an increasingly isolated group of entrenched executioners", the charity said. Almost 80 per cent of all known death penalties were recorded in just three countries: Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

"The virtual killing sprees we saw in countries like Iran and Iraq were shameful. But those states who cling to the death penalty are on the wrong side of history and are, in fact, growing more and more isolated," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General, in a statement.

In Iran, executions rose by 18 per cent to 369 in 2013. Iraq's increase was even more pronounced, with a leap of 30 per cent since 2012 to 169. Many of the Iranians put to death were convicted of "vaguely defined terrorism-related offences", Amnesty reports. Saudi Arabia's execution rate remained static with 79 people put to death in both 2012 and 2013.

The top five countries in terms of total executions were China, presumed to have executed thousands, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United States where 39 executions took place last year.

In spite of the global rise in execution, many countries are moving away from capital punishment, Amnesty said. Over the last 20 years, the total number of countries carrying out executions has dropped from 37 in 1994 to 22 in 2013.

"The long-term trend is clear," Shetty said. "The death penalty is becoming a thing of the past."

The United States remains the only country in the Americas where capital punishment is practised. Of the country's 39 executions, 16 were in the state of Texas. Maryland became the 18th US state to abolish the death penalty, AFP reports.

"We urge all governments who still kill in the name of justice to impose a moratorium on the death penalty immediately, with a view to abolishing it," Shetty said.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Disqus - noscript

There are many people who deserve to be executed and not only in the USA. If they fail to live within the wide, liberal laws of the land then there is no place for them in modern society. It is foolish to spend billions of dollars housing people who live like animals and who have scant regard for the people of America and its laws.

The issue of concern should not be the numbers but the reasons. In Iran people are killed for being gay. Some are executed for being raped. That is appalling.

I see no reason not to kill those who deliberately murder people. I would be happy to extend the death penalty to attempted murder, serious crimes of violence, carrying a gun whilst committing another crime and shooting at a police officer.

Murder is murder, state sanctioned or otherwise. Killing someone who committed a heinous crime is still murder. We need to move on from this 'eye for an eye' rhetoric.

It might seem easy while sitting here at home and thinking it is not OK to put killers to death! But when you hear what they have done, killing & rapping .... for both those things every time if there is 100% not doubt then they should be put to death! Those who have taken a life theirs should be taken too. Money should not be wasted on them to do degrees and have fine food!

Having said all that in Iraq, Iran & Saudi in my view 99% of them are killed for nothing! And as for the Women who are raped they are betrayed again & murdered! Women have NO justice at all those God forsaken countries!

RIP all the innocent Men & Woman who have been murdered this way and the ones who are killers, they deserved it!