Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq record highest executions, as rights group reports global decline in the use of death penalty.

7 May 2018

Amnesty International has expressed concern that the death penalty continues to be applied in some Middle Eastern countries, as it reported a worldwide decline in executions and death sentences in 2017.

But for the second year in a row, the Middle Eastern countries of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were the top three for the number of executions in the world - along with Pakistan, they account for 84 percent of executions recorded worldwide.

China is widely believed to execute thousands of people every year, but data on executions "is classified as a state secret", according to Amnesty.

"Strong leaders execute justice, not people"


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