Ur Place

April 16, 2008

Report: China led world executions in 2007

Filed under: Lajme --- News — halfevil @ 10:47 am

LONDON, England (AP) — China reduced the number of executions it carried out last year but still executed more people than any other country in the world, Amnesty International said Tuesday in its annual report on the death penalty worldwide.

Iran remains the country with the second-highest number of executions, with 377 killings that included a man stoned for adultery, the human rights group said.

The number of American executions fell to its lowest level in about 15 years, putting it fifth in the world with 42, Amnesty officials said.

Amnesty analysts said that early in 2007 China reformed the way capital cases are handled, leading to a substantial reduction in executions. They said at least 470 people were put to death, from 1,010 in 2006. But they cautioned that the actual number is undoubtedly higher, and warned that any drop may be temporary.

Piers Bannister, a death penalty researcher at Amnesty, said the group fears that the slowdown is only a “logjam” that will lead to a rise in executions once a review by China’s top court of all capital cases is concluded.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing did not respond to requests for comment on the findings in the Amnesty report. The ministry has said in the past that Amnesty is “biased and hostile toward China.”

More than 60 offenses in China are punishable by the death penalty, including drug trafficking and embezzlement, Bannister said.

Amnesty reported that three countries — Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia — put people under the age of 18 to death, the youngest a 13-year-old executed in Iran in April.


Amnesty’s report cited research by other groups claiming the number of people put to death in China was much higher, with some research indicating that as many as 6,000 people may have been executed in 2007. Death penalty figures are treated as a state secret in China.

In all, at least 3,347 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries, and as many as 27,500 people are estimated to be on death row, Amnesty said.


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