(From Irish Times)

A global rise in the number of executions recorded last year saw more people put to death than at any point in the last quarter-century, according to Amnesty International.

A banner used by demonstrators in Vienna, Austria last week against Iranian President Hassan Rohani over Iran’s use of the death penalty
A banner used by demonstrators in Vienna, Austria, against Iranian President Hassan Rohani over Iran’s use of death penalty

The human rights organisation said at least 1,634 people were executed in 2015, a rise of more than 50% on the previous year, and the highest number recorded since 1989.

The figures only account for recorded executions, however, and exclude executions carried out in China where death penalty data is treated as a state secret.

“China remained the world’s top executioner, and Amnesty International believes that thousands of people were put to death and thousands of death sentences were imposed in 2015.

“There are signs that the number of executions in China has decreased in recent years, but the secrecy around the death penalty makes this impossible to confirm,” it said.

The recorded surge in executions was fuelled by three countries — Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Together they were responsible for 89% of the 1,634 recorded executions in 2015.

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “The rise in executions last year is profoundly disturbing. Not for the last 25 years have so many people been put to death by states around the world. Read More

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