Amnesty International has recently published its “league table” of rates of execution in countries around the world.
80% of executions worldwide were carried out by just one country. There are no prizes for guessing which...
Yes, it’s China. 1700 people were murdered by the Chinese state last year.
The other big offenders were Iran, Saudi Arabia and the US; those countries were responsible for 14% of executions.
Gay and human rights activist Brett Lock (brettlock.blogspot.com) has done a useful analysis of the figures. He worked out at the rate of executions in each country relative to the population and Saudi Arabia came out top.
Lock criticises Amnesty for making US executions a major part of their statistical presentation. The relative rate of executions for the USA is in fact quite low. And Lock points out that Jordan, Libya, North Korea and even the Palestinian Authority have a higher rate of execution than the US. And after all, he says, in the US, people are “not executed for political or ‘moral’ crimes.”
So that’s all right then? To be fair Lock is opposed to all executions. But he goes too far in criticising the Amnesty’s apparent Americaphobia. After all in the US they do tend to execute young, poor, black men. And that reflects a politically corrupt and racist criminal justice system.