Amnesty International: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia executed the most people in 2016

Amnesty International released its annual global report on executions today. In 2016, at least 1,023 people were executed throughout the world. Amnesty International announced that China is still the “world’s top executioner.”
Members of United Filipinos in Hong Kong take part in a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to protest against executions (2011) Photo Credit: EPA

According to a report released by Amnesty International on Tuesday, at least 1,023 people were executed in 2016. These executions took place in 23 countries. Last year, Amnesty International revealed 1,634 executions took place in 2015 throughout the world in 25 countries. The 37% drop is largely accredited to the fewer recorded executions in Iran and Pakistan.

The report on 2016 revealed that most of the executions took place in China, Iran and Saudi Arabia respectively. “China remained the world’s top executioner – but the true extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as this data is considered a state secret; the global figure of at least 1,032 excludes the thousands of executions believed to have been carried out in China,” Amnesty International explained.

In the Middle East and North Africa, the number of executions decreased in 2016 by 28% compared to the previous year. Out of the 856 executions that were recorded in 2016, Iran alone carried out 66% of them. Nevertheless, Iran carried out fewer executions last year than in 2015. Saudi Arabia executed at least 154 people in 2016.

According to the report, only 20 executions were recorded in the U.S last year. This is the first time since 2006 that the U.S. is not among the top five executioners in the world.

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