London: China is the global leader in terms of the number of people executed since 2007, according to Amnesty International’s annual Death Sentences and Executions report.
The report said that China executed at least 470 people in 2007 and at least 1,718 in 2008.
For 2009 and 2010, the report only lists “thousands” because of the Chinese government’s stance that such statistics are state secrets.
In 2010, China executed more people than the rest of the world combined.
It also said that a large number of China’s death sentences are for drug-related offenses.
Iran came in second after carrying out over 300 executions a year in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The country executed at least 252 people in 2010 and at least 1,303 since 2007.
A large percentage of Iranian executions are punishment for drug-related offenses.
Seventeen members of Iran’s Kurdish minority are also on death row for what the report called “political offenses.”
Iran is also one of the few remaining countries to sentence people to death by stoning – the punishment for “adultery while married.” While no one was executed by stoning in 2010, at least 14 people were sentenced to it at the end of the year, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
Iraq was ranked third in the list for executing at least 120 people in 2009, but Amnesty International has been unable to confirm how many were executed in 2010 – the 2010 tally is “1+,” meaning Amnesty only knows that at least one person was executed.
That person was Ali Hassan Al-Majid, better known as “Chemical Ali,” who was hung on January 24, 2010.
Iraq also sentenced more people to death in 2009 than any other country other than China and has sentenced at least 1,129 people to death since 2007.
The United States has the fourth most executions on the books since 2007, and is the only country in the Americas to execute people in the past few years.
They executed 46 people in 2010, down from the 2009 total of 52, but still a notable increase from the 2008 total of 37. A total of 177 people have been executed since 2007.
Texas, Alabama, Ohio, Virginia, and Oklahoma were the states with the most executions.
Pakistan completed the top 5 despite a moratorium on executions imposed by the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) that prevented the government from executing anyone in 2009 or 2010.
In 2007, 135 people were executed and 36 were in 2008.
Despite the moratorium on executions, Pakistan continued to sentence people to death – 276 in 2009 and 365 in 2010 – and thousands of people remain on death row from previous sentences.