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Saudi Arabia, Iran 'topped global executions' again in 2018

The global number of executions has dropped by 31 percent [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 April, 2019

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A new Amnesty report said Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq topped the global list for executions in 2018, despite an overall fall in global execution numbers.
Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq topped the global list for executions in 2018, a new Amnesty report revealed, noting an overall decrease in executions since more than a decade ago.

Iran executed at least 253 people last year, the report revealed, a sharp 50 percent decrease from the 507 the previous year.

Saudi Arabia followed closely behind with 149 executions while Iraq’s figures showed at least 52 executions compared with 125 in 2017.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world's highest execution rates - with a huge number of capital offences for crimes, including terrorism, murder, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking.

The three countries made up a whopping 91 percent of the total number of executions in the whole region, Amnesty said, though the report did reveal a substantial increase in death sentences, especially in Egypt, where a record 717 people were sentenced to death compared to at least 402 in 2017.

Despite the alarming figures, the Amnesty report did reveal a 31 percent decrease in global executions in 2018, noting at least 20 countries took part in 690 executions, compared with 993 in 2017.

This figure represents the lowest number of executions that Amnesty International has recorded in the past decade, the report said.

It also revealed a majority of the world’s states had abolished the death penalty in law for all crimes by the end of 2018 and more than two-thirds had abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

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