Alarming levels of executions in few countries – Amnesty
Developments on the use of the death penalty in 2011 confirmed the global trend towards abolition. The number of countries that were known to have carried out death sentences decreased compared to the previous year, and overall, progress was recorded in all regions of the world.
The isolation of countries that continue to carry out executions became even clearer and while many of these reduced their use of the death penalty, a small number of countries, including, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, increased executions.
The Death Penalty In 2011: Global Numbers
At least 20 countries were known to have carried out executions in 2011. Even including newly-independent South Sudan, this is a reduction from 2010, when 23 countries were reported to have implemented death sentences, and shows a steep decline against the figure recorded a decade ago, when 31 countries were known to have carried out executions.
At least 676 executions were known to have been carried out worldwide in 2011, an increase on the 2010 figure of at least 527 executions worldwide. The increase is largely due to a significant increase in judicial killings in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. However, the 676 figure does not include the thousands of people who were believed to have been executed in China in 2011.
At least 1,923 people were known to have been sentenced to death in 63 countries in 2011. This represents a decrease from the 2010 figure of at least 2,024 death sentences worldwide.
At least 18,750 people were under sentence of death worldwide at the end of 2011.
Facts by regions
While the USA was the only country in the G8 to carry out executions, Illinois became its 16th abolitionist state, and in November the Governor of Oregon announced a moratorium on executions.
In the Asia-Pacific region, no executions were recorded in Japan, for the first time in 19 years. In Africa, Nigeria confirmed and Sierra Leone announced official moratoriums on executions. While the Middle East and North Africa region was affected by large-scale political upheaval, Bahrain did not execute anybody, and the new government in Tunisia took a number of steps to reduce the use of the death penalty. Belarus continued to be the only country in europe and the former soviet union to carry out executions.