Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

The variety of identified executions carried out globally rose by 53% in 2022, in response to a brand new report revealed by Amnesty Worldwide.

There have been 883 identified instances of executions throughout 20 nations, however Amnesty stated that three international locations—Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt—had been chargeable for 90% of those capital punishments. Whereas Amnesty cited China because the nation the place executions are most prolific, based mostly on its evaluation of obtainable info, this information is assessed as a state secret and due to this fact excluded from the report. The annual determine is believed to be within the 1000’s.

When it comes to identified executions, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt routinely high the listing in Amnesty’s annual report. “These international locations are prolific executioners, they characteristic in Amnesty’s high 5 international locations with the best variety of executions yearly,” Oluwatosin Popoola, a authorized advisor at Amnesty, tells TIME.

There are different Center Japanese international locations with identified executions final 12 months. Executions had been recorded in Iraq (11), Kuwait (7), the Palestinian Territories (5), Yemen (4), and Syria, although the determine for the latter is unknown. Whereas Tunisia and Libya in 2022 issued at the least 26 and 18 loss of life sentences, respectively, none had been carried out on the time of the report.

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“It’s fairly unclear why there’s been this enhance. However what is evident is that these [three] international locations are persevering with to order using the loss of life penalty… [as] the world strikes away from using the loss of life penalty,” Popoola provides. He notes that when Amnesty began its international marketing campaign to finish the loss of life penalty in 1977, solely 16 international locations had outlawed it, a determine that now stands at 112.

Amongst developed nations, the U.S. recorded 18 executions in 2022. In Europe, no executions had been recorded except Belarus, a rustic sometimes called Europe’s final dictatorship.

Right here’s what to know concerning the three international locations which nonetheless account for many identified executions across the globe.


Iran was the nation with the best identified executions final 12 months. Of the entire 576 situations of capital punishment, 279 individuals had been sentenced for homicide, 255 for drug-related offenses, 21 for rape, and 18 on costs of “enmity towards God.” The latter costs embody two males who had been detained because of sweeping anti-government protests within the Islamic Republic final 12 months.

“These will increase had been because of executions for homicide and drug associated offenses; recorded executions for homicide had risen sharply by 75%, from 159 that had been recorded in 2021 to 279,” Popoola says.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia carried out 3 times as many identified executions in 2022 because it did in 2021—the 196 determine is the best quantity noticed for the nation by Amnesty in 30 years. The figures had been additionally supplied by Saudi Arabia’s human rights fee, suggesting a level of transparency that international locations comparable to Iran didn’t supply.

“In a single single day alone, 81 individuals had been executed by the Saudi authorities,” Popoola says, noting that most of the instances had been associated to terrorism offenses. Forty-one of those individuals belonged to the nation’s Shia Muslim minority, together with two individuals convicted of crimes associated to their involvement in anti-government protests.

There was additionally a spike because of the resumption of executions for drug associated offenses, Popoola provides, including that within the earlier 12 months Saudi Arabia didn’t document any executions for drug-related offenses.


Whereas Egypt ranks because the third highest recorded executioner, its 24 determine is a 71% drop in comparison with 2021, when 83 individuals had been executed. However the nation imposed 538 loss of life sentences in 2022, up from 356 in 2021, an indication that subsequent 12 months’s tally might enhance.

Egypt was one in every of three African Union international locations to hold out executions, together with Somalia and South Sudan, in response to Amnesty’s report, which additionally famous that Egypt has in some instances imposed loss of life sentences with out defendants being current.

Whereas the figures the place executions are happening quantity to a five-year excessive, Popoola says that the discount in international locations finishing up executions permits them to stay hopeful. “Amnesty has by no means been this optimistic that the loss of life penalty will sooner or later be completely abolished on the earth,” he says.

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Write to Armani Syed at [email protected].

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