The countries with the most executions in the world

The countries with the most executions in the world
  • According to Amnesty International, during 2021 at least 579 executions were carried out in 18 countries.
  • The country that heads the list is China, although there is no definitive official record.
  • North Korea and Vietnam do not appear on the list because the number of people executed by the government is unknown.

Among the most serious problems that are increasing in the world, violence stands out. But what is even more serious for human rights defenders is that the death penalty persists as a punishment in some regions. In fact, Some countries stand out from the rest because they are where the most executions are currently recorded.

Definition of the term

In this case, the first thing to understand is that an execution is not the same as a murder resulting from violence or an accident. The term is used to describe the action of causing the death of a convicted person by the State. It is a punishment that is applied for committing a crime established in the legislation and is distinguished because there is a legal process.

It is one of the first punishments that appeared in humanity and although some nations have abolished it, in others it is still in force. Although at the beginning it was used for any type of robbery, it is now different because it is applied when it comes to serious crimes.

Throughout history, multiple methods have been used to cause the death of this type of criminal. Within the long list, the bonfire, gallows, decapitation, arrow, stoning and execution stand out.

While during the last centuries more “humane” modalities emerged such as the electric chair, the gas chamber and the lethal injection. In all cases, the aim is to cause death instantly and with the least possible suffering.

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Current panorama in the world

In this regard, the association Amnesty International published its most recent report on death sentences and executions. What stands out is that during 2021 at least 579 executions were carried out in 18 countries. The figure represents an increase of 20% compared to the total registered in 2020.

The organization ensures that much of this increase corresponds to Iran, which executed at least 314 people (compared to 246 in 2020).

Despite this increase, Amnesty International notes that the total number of executions recorded last year is the second lowest figure, after 2020. It should be noted that this global figure does not include people suspected of having been executed in China, North Korea and Vietnam, the number of which is difficult to estimate. The pro-human rights organization highlights that “secrecy and restricted access to information in the case of these three countries prevented a rigorous monitoring of these executions.”

In the case of China, the country leads by far the ranking of the biggest executors worldwide. According to what was published by Statistical He is “the greatest executioner in the world”. There is no official figure because it is classified information, but it is believed that thousands were executed last year.

Without taking into account “the large number of executions” that are believed to have taken place in North Korea and Vietnam and whose number has been impossible to determine, the Asian giant is followed by Iran (with at least 314 recorded executions), Egypt (with a minimum of 83) and Saudi Arabia (with 65).

Behind the countries with the most executions are Syria, Somalia, Iraq and Yemen. Then comes the United States, with 11 executions, and South Sudan, with at least 9.