Saudi Arabia has executed the highest number of people in 2019 ever recorded in a single year in the country. According to the report by Amnesty International released on April 21, the kingdom defied the usual trend of decrease in executions by giving the death penalty to 184 people. Meanwhile, according to the rights group, even though the global death penalties overall plunged in 2019, the executions doubled in other countries like China, Iraq, and Iran. There has been a fall in the number of people executed in the world consecutively for the last four years. In 2019, 657 people received death penalties, which is the lowest figure in a decade.
In 2018, at least 690 people were executed worldwide. This implies that global executions have now fallen by five per cent. However, according to Amnesty, thousands of people are still given death penalties in China, but the number is not definite due to mainland keeping the information classified. The second country to execute most people after China is, Iran who gave death penalties to at least 251 people. Other countries that top five, then include Saudi Arabia with 184 executions, Iraq with at least 100, and then Egypt with 32.
According to the official website, Clare Algar, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy said, “The death penalty is an abhorrent and inhuman punishment, and there is no credible evidence that it deters crime more than prisons terms. A large majority of countries recognize this and it’s encouraging to see that executions continue to fall worldwide.”
“However, a small number of countries defied the global trend away from the death penalty by increasingly resorting to executions. Saudi Arabia’s growing use of the death penalty, including as a weapon against political dissidents, is an alarming development. Also shocking was the massive jump in executions in Iraq, which nearly doubled in just one year,” she added.