Executions spiked in Iran in Saudi Arabia in 2021
Amnesty International says there was a concerning rise in executions in 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. There were spikes seen in Iran and Saudi Arabia in the year of 2021. At least 579 executions were carried out in 18 countries, reflecting a 20% increase to 2020 and Iran accounted for 314 of these executions. Saudi Arabia executed 65 people, almost double the number from 2020.
The global total is still the second lowest figure after 2020 that has been recorded by Amnesty since 2010. The global total, however, does not and has not ever included China. The data on the use of the death penalty in China is a state secret and has never been included in the yearly reports. Amnesty reports the data from Iran reflects the highest number since 2017 and is due to drug-related executions that Amnesty condemns as a violation of international law. The human rights group only alllows the death penalty for crimes involving intentional killing. The report shows that 2,052 death sentences were handed down by judges in 56 countries, an increase of 40% from 2020.