Global executions reach highest level in 25 years in 2015

Amnesty International reports that worldwide executions dramatically rose in 2015, hitting highest level in 25 years

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

At least 1,604 people were executed in 2015, up from 573 in 2014.

Updated Apr 8, 2016

Amnesty International released a report on Thursday which revealed the dramatic rise in global executions, which hit its highest level in 25 years in 2015.  

The report titled “Death Sentences And Executions 2015”, indicated that more than 1,634 people were executed globally in 2015, which is 573 more than 2014’s records.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan appeared to be the three countries where almost 90 percent of all the executions took place in 2015. 

At least 977 people were executed in Iran, mostly for drug related crimes, as Pakistan followed with more than 320 cases and Saudi Arabia with 158.  

"The number of known executions rose by more than 50 percent compared with 2014 - this development is unsettling and alarming," said Oliver Hendrich, an expert on capital punishment at Amnesty International in Germany.

According to the rights group, the actual number was probably significantly higher than given records due to China’s tendency to hide official numbers and keep them as a state secret.   

The rights group believes that China is the world’s top executioner, executing thousands of people per year.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang criticised the report saying that Amnesty International often makes baseless allegations against the country which lack objectivity. 

"So we have no interest in making comment on this," he told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

Amnesty said 102 countries had completely abolished the death penalty for all crimes by the end of 2015, leaving countries which impose the death penalty in the minority. 

TRTWorld and agencies