China, US among top countries when it comes to execution of prisoners

March 28th, 2011 - 6:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, Mar 28 (ANI): China and the United States still remain among top countries to execute prisoners, resisting the global trend of abolishing death penalty, an Amnesty International report has revealed.

The Guardian quoted the report as saying that China had apparently executed more than any of these countries, but the organisation has failed to provide a precise figure of executions in China as Beijing keeps such figures secret.

Amnesty International has instead challenged the Chinese authorities to publish figures for the number of people sentenced to death and executed each year to confirm the regime’s claim that it has reduced the applicability of the death penalty.

The report said that setting China aside, at least 527 executions were carried out last year. Almost half of those took place in Iran (252), 60 in North Korea, 53 in Yemen, and 46 in the US.

The minimum number of executions was down from at least 714 in 2009.

The methods used b y these countries include beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection and various kinds of shooting (by firing squad, and at close range to the heart or the head).

However, the report claimed that the underlying trend on the death penalty is strongly toward abolition, adding that 31 countries have removed the punishment in law or in practice in the last 10 years. Last year, Gabon reportedly became the 139th country to either abolish the penalty outright or to cease to use it in practice.

“In spite of some setbacks, developments in 2010 brought us closer to global abolition. The President of Mongolia announced a moratorium on the death penalty, an important first step as capital punishment is still classified as state secret,” Salil Shetty, Amnesty’s secretary general, said.

“For the third time and with more support than ever before, the UN general assembly called for a global moratorium on executions. Any country that continues to execute is flying in the face of the fact that both human rights law and UN human rights bodies consistently hold that abolition should be the objective,” he added. (ANI)

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