The total number of known executions carried out around the world in 2022 rose by 53 per cent on the figure recorded for 2021, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
The human rights organisation, in a report on the worldwide use of the death penalty, documented at least 883 executions in 20 countries for 2022, the highest figure in five years.
The number was likely higher, it noted, as thousands of executions in China “are being kept under wraps.”
State secrecy in North Korea and Vietnam, along with limited access to information in several other countries, continued to hinder a fuller assessment of the use of the death penalty, the report said.
Amnesty said 90 per cent of the world’s known executions in 2022 were carried out by just three countries, namely: Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
The number of recorded executions in Iran rose from 314 in 2021 to 576 in 2022, it said.
In Saudi Arabia, the number tripled from 65 in 2021 to 196 last year – the highest figure recorded by Amnesty for the country in 30 years.
Six countries abolished the death penalty completely or partially last year, according to the report.
However, executions resumed in five countries during 2022 – Afghanistan, Kuwait, Myanmar, the State of Palestine, and Singapore, the report said.
More than a third of the world’s recorded executions in 2022 were for drugs offences, a clear breach of international law, Amnesty said.