There was a worrying rise in executions in 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions were eased, Amnesty International says, with spikes seen in Iran and Saudi Arabia. A report by the human rights group says at least 579 executions were known to have been carried out in 18 countries – a 20% increase on the previous year. Iran accounted for the biggest portion of this rise. It put to death at least 314 people, compared with 246 in 2020. Saudi Arabia more than doubled its number of executions to 65. The global total is the second-lowest figure, after 2020, that Amnesty has recorded since at least 2010. However, as in previous years it does not include China. Although it is believed to execute thousands of people each year, the data on its use of the death penalty is a state secret. Amnesty says secrecy also made it impossible to verify reports from North Korea and Vietnam, where an extensive number of executions is thought to have taken place.(BBC)…[+]
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