from SAAD MUSE in Mogadishu, Somalia
MOGADISHU, (CAJ News) – AT least 579 executions were carried out across 18 countries last year.
This as nations retained the death sentence after courts eased COVID-19 restrictions.
The figure represents a 20-percent increase on the recorded total for 2020.
Iran accounted for the biggest portion of this rise, executing at least 314 people, up from 246 in 2020.
According to Amnesty International, in East and Southern Africa, the overall number of recorded executions more than doubled as a result of rising numbers in two countries – with 21 people executed in Somalia and at least nine in South Sudan.
Three people were executed in Botswana.
“The persistent use of the death penalty by Somalia, South Sudan and Botswana goes against regional trends in Sub-Saharan Africa and the world, where many countries are moving away from this cruel, inhumane and degrading form of punishment,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.
While 33 executions were recorded in Botswana, Somalia and South Sudan in 2021, the overwhelming majority of the countries in the region that have not yet abolished the death penalty for all crimes, including Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, have not carried out any executions.
Amnesty is opposed to the capital punishment and believes there is no credible evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime.
“Justice is not served by executing people, and the world is moving away from this abhorrent and degrading form of punishment. Authorities must stop using the death penalty,” Muchena said.
– CAJ News