from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – SOME 657 executions were carried out across the world in 2019.
This represents a decrease of 5 percent compared to 2018.
According to the human rights group, Amnesty International, this is the lowest number of executions recorded in at least a decade.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Botswana, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan carried out a combined 25 executions in 2019. Overall recorded executions in the region increased by one compared to 2018.
For the second year in a row, South Sudan saw an alarming increase in executions, putting to death at least 11 people in 2019.
This is the highest recorded number in any year since the country’s independence in 2011.
Of the people executed, three were from the same family, one was a child at the time of the crime and was about 17 when he was sentenced to death.
The Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe either took positive steps or made pronouncements in 2019 which may lead to the abolition of the death penalty.
The Middle East and North Africa region reported a 16 percent increase in the number of executions, from 501 in 2018 to 579 in 2019.
Overall, 20 countries carried out executions in the world last year.
China remained the world’s leading executioner but the true extent of the use of the death penalty is unknown as this data is classified as a state secret.
Most other executions took place in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt – in that order.
– CAJ News