(TibetanReview.net, Apr12, 2017) – While the total number of executions being carried out by it remains unknown as this information is a national secret, available reports show China to continue to retain its record as the globe’s top executioner for the year 2016 as well, Amnesty International has reported Apr 11.
The group found that more than 3,000 people in 55 countries had been condemned to death last year, marking a 56 percent surge from 2015.
China is believed to have executed “thousands” of people, more than the combined figure of at least 1,023 executions in 23 other countries last year, Reuters Apr 11 cited the rights group as saying in its latest report.
“China now wants to assume a global leadership role. In respect to death penalty it is leading in the worst possible way,” the report quoted Amnesty International’s regional director for East Asia, Nicholas Bequelin, as saying.
“Nobody executes at that scale. Nobody executes with such secrecy. Nobody executes so quickly,” he was quoted as saying
Still, China’s current level of executions is much lower than it was a decade ago. Human rights group Dui Hua estimates about 2,000 executions took place in China last year, down from a 6,500 a decade ago. Its tally was based on research into lower-level court cases and contacts with government officials and Chinese and Western legal scholars, according to the group’s executive director, John Kamm, cited by the AP Apr 11.
Shy of boasting about this particular record, the head of China’s Supreme People’s Court, Zhou Qiang, had said in March that his country had made sure to impose capital punishment on “an extremely small number of criminals who committed extremely serious crimes”. But Bequelin has called his statement “misleading and disingenuous”.
Reuters noted that Amnesty’s China-focused report, China’s Deadly Secret, said that for 2016, the group found 305 executions using a Chinese search engine, but only 26 of those cases had made it to a national database.
“Whatever is recorded officially is only the tip of a huge, shameful iceberg,” Bequelin was quoted as saying.