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2022 saw the highest number of executions globally for five years


2022 saw the highest number of executions worldwide in five years as countries in the Middle East see an increase in the use of the death penalty

  • Amnesty’s report confirmed that Iran will have executed 571 people by 2022

According to Amnesty International, the number of recorded global executions in 2022 was the highest in the past five years.

The group’s annual review recorded a total of 883 executions in 20 countries – 90 percent of which were sentences carried out in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The figure marks a 51 percent increase in executions recorded globally by 2021.

Amnesty’s report confirmed that Iran will have executed 571 people in 2022, up from 314 in 2021, making it the country primarily responsible for the global increase in executions.

Of the country’s total murder count in 2022, 270 people were convicted of murder, 255 of drug-related crimes, 21 of rape, and 18 of national security charges of “enmity against God.”

A demonstrator from the Iranian-Portuguese community protests in front of the parliament building after Iran’s death sentence and public execution of two young protesters, Mohsen Shekari and Majidreza Rahnavard, for taking part in anti-regime demonstrations, in Lisbon, Portugal, December 16, 2022

In connection with the latter category, two men were sentenced to death following the anti-government protests that erupted in September.

The figure excludes China, which is believed to execute thousands each year, but the country’s rigidity in classifying death penalty data has made it difficult for Amnesty to pin down a precise number.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, which comes in next with a total of 196, will triple from 61 in 2021, the country’s highest recorded figure in 30 years.

Of the convictions, 85 were for terrorism-related charges and 57 were for drug-related charges.

According to the group, 81 people were executed in a single day in March 2022 in the country, 41 of whom were members of the Shia Muslim minority.

Egypt recorded 24 executions last year, which was a 71% drop from the previous year, when 83 were executed.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, 11 executions were recorded in Iraq, seven in Kuwait, five in Palestinian territories, four in Yemen and an unknown number in Syria.

Agnes Callamard, Amnesty’s Secretary General, said: “It is time for governments and the UN to step up the pressure on those responsible for these blatant human rights violations and ensure international safeguards.”

Meanwhile, 18 people were executed in the US – up from 11 in 2021 while 11 were executed in Singapore.

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