Source: Amnesty International

Author(s): Amnesty International

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Amnesty International’s overall assessment of the use of the death penalty in 2018 indicates that the global trend towards abolishing the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment continues apace, despite regressive steps from a small number of countries.

Most strikingly, the number of known executions dropped by over 30% and reached the lowest figure Amnesty International has reported in the past decade. This reflected a significant reduction in some of the world’s lead executing countries, such as Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia. Similarly, the number of countries known to have carried out executions also reduced.

Some of the countries bucked the overall positive trend, however. Thailand carried out its first execution since 2009 and several other countries reported increases in their yearly totals, including Belarus, Japan, Singapore, South Sudan and USA. Additional concerns were further added by important rises in the number of death sentences imposed in some countries, most notably Egypt and Iraq. Rare figures made publicly available by the authorities of Viet Nam showed the extent of its resort to the death penalty, placing the country among the world’s top executioners. Secrecy continued to surround the use of the death penalty in China, which Amnesty International believed continued to sentence to death and execute thousands of people.

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