from AHMED MOOLA in Cairo, Egypt
CAIRO, (CAJ News) – NO less than 483 people were executed in the past year in some 18 countries still imposing the death sentence.
This figure, a 26 percent drop from 2019, represents the lowest number of executions that human rights group, Amnesty International, has recorded in the past decade.
China, Iran, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia – in that order- had the most executions.
The true extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as this data is classified as a state secret.
Egypt more than tripled its reported executions, from at least 32 to at least 107.
In Middle East and North Africa, the number of recorded executions fell by 25 percent, from 579 in 2019 to 437 in 2020, while recorded death sentences fell by 11 percent from 707 in 2019 to 632 in 2020.
Recorded executions in Sub-Saharan Africa dropped 36 percent, from 25 in 2019 to 16 in 2020.
Executions were recorded in three countries – Botswana, Somalia and South Sudan.
Recorded deaths sentences fell by 6 percent, from 325 in 2019 to 305 in 2020.
Amnesty International recorded commutations or pardons of death sentences in 33 countries.
At least 18 exonerations of prisoners under sentence of death were recorded.
At the end of 2020, 108 countries had abolished the death penalty in law for all crimes and 144 countries had abolished the death penalty in law or practice.
– CAJ News