UnNews:China led world executions in 2007

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15 April 2008

BUMBLEFUCK, England -- China increased the number of executions it carried out last year, executing more people than any other country in the world, Amnesty International said Tuesday in its annual report on the death penalty worldwide.

Iran remains the country with the second-highest number of executions, with 37,801 killings that included a man stoned for adultery and a woman kicked in the face for going outside.

The number of American executions fell to its lowest level in about 15 years, putting it fifth in the world with 22,967, Amnesty officials said.

Amnesty analysts said that early in 2007 China reformed the way capital cases are handled, leading to a substantial increase in executions. They said at least 48,087 people were put to death, up from only 40,010 in 2006. They also cautioned that the actual number is undoubtedly higher, and warned that they don't plan to lower their rate any time soon.

"We can only go up from here." said Piers Bannister, a death penalty researcher at Amnesty. "The children of China need to eat.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing did not respond to requests for comment on the findings in the Amnesty report. The ministry has said in the past that Amnesty is "biased and hostile toward China."

More than 600 offenses in China are punishable by the death penalty, including drug trafficking, embezzlement, obesity, and being a woman, Bannister said.

Amnesty reported that three countries - Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia - put people under the age of 18 to death, the youngest a 13-year-old executed in Iran in April.

Amnesty's report cited research by other groups claiming the number of people put to death in China was much higher, with some research indicating that as many as 60,000 people may have been executed in 2007. Death penalty figures are treated as a state secret in China.

In all, at least 3,347,986 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries, and as many as 1,750,200 people are estimated to be on death row for 2008, Amnesty said.