Thousands beheaded, poisoned and hanged in 2010 says Amnesty International
Monday 28 March 2011, 05pm
Last year 23 countries shot, hanged, poisoned, electrocuted
or beheaded some of their own citizens. Amnesty International
today, 28 March, published its annual report on the death
penalty for 2010.
The total number of executions officially recorded by Amnesty
International in 2010 was at least 527, down from at least 714
people in 2009. However, China is believed to have executed
thousands last year but keeps the number of people put to
death a secret.
Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International
Ireland, said: “The tiny minority of states that continue
to use the death penalty were responsible for the deaths of
thousands last year in defiance of the international community.”
A total of 31 countries have abolished the death penalty
during the last 10 years. China, Iran, North Korea, Yemen
and the USA make up the top five death penalty states,
accounting for the vast majority of executions
Only one country in Europe, Belarus, still carries out
executions and Mr O’Gorman announced that this would be
the priority target for Amnesty International this year.
He said: “We want to make Europe a death penalty free zone.
Last year Belarus executed two men and three more prisoners
are now on death row. Putting pressure on Belarus to abolish
the death penalty will be a key aim for us this year.
“While executions globally may be on the decline, a number
of countries continue to pass death sentences for drug-related
offences, economic crimes, sexual relations between consenting
adults and blasphemy.”
China remains the world’s most enthusiastic executioner and in
2010 killed thousands of people for a wide range of crimes that
included non-violent offences.
Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates
imposed death sentences on individuals that were below 18 years of
age when the crimes were committed.
Colm O’Gorman said: “In spite of some setbacks, developments in
2010 brought us closer to global abolition. Mongolia suspended all
executions and Gabon abolished the death penalty completely. 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 people is flying in the
face of human rights and a strengthening global consensus.”
Read the death penalty report for 2010.
Key numbers and statistics from the death penalty report.
Find out more about the Amnesty International campaign against the death penalty.
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