Rome (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China has won a sad first place as the nation which carried out most executions in 2008. Amnesty International’s report into the death penalty has revealed that last year the Beijing government killed a total of 1718 people, well over half of the 2390 executions carried out worldwide.
93% of all death sentences involve 5 nations. Alongside China are Iran (346), Saudi Arabia (102), the USA (37) and Pakistan (36).
The continent with the highest number of executions is Asia with 1838 death sentences handed down by 11countries which still legally use capital punishment: Pakistan (36), Vietnam (19), Afghanistan (17), North Korea (15), Japan (15), Indonesia (10) and Bangladesh (5). In 2008 Tokyo registered the highest number of executions since 1975.
To be added to these numbers the death sentences sill to be carried out, totalling 8864. In China alone the number of prisoners on death row is estimated to be at least 7 thousand, a number that Beijing shares along with Islamabad.