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Amnesty International Report on Death Sentence and Execution

Amnesty International's Report on the Death Penalty and Execution in 2020 shows how, despite the unprecedented challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, some states have relentlessly pursued convictions and executions. Amnesty International recorded decreases in the number of new death sentences adjudged in 30 out of 54 countries, which appeared to be linked, in most cases, to restrictions to judicial proceedings put in place in several countries in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite a clear global trend showing most countries moving away from the use of the death penalty, four States: Iran, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, make up an increasingly isolated group. India, Oman and Qatar resumed executions after several years without any, while Taiwan executed one man after a one-year hiatus. Amnesty International recorded executions in 18 countries, two fewer than in 2019. The US federal authorities resumed executions after almost two decades, while at the state level executions were on hold for several months. Nevertheless, globally, at least 483 people were known to have been executed in 2020, excluding countries where death penalty data is classified as a state secret or where limited information is available (China, North Korea, Syria, and Viet Nam). This is the lowest number of executions recorded by Amnesty International in at least a decade. It represents a decrease of 26% compared to 2019. In addition, positive developments towards abolition were recorded in Chad and Kazakhstan as well as the US, states of Colorado and Ohio.

Amnesty International campaigns for the total abolition of capital punishment as it violates the right to life. The Organisation opposes the death penalty in all cases, without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.

Amnesty International is a movement of 10 million people which mobilizes humanity in everyone and campaigns for change so we can all enjoy our human rights. Amnesty International is impartial. It takes no position on issues of sovereignty, territorial disputes or international political or legal arrangements that might be adopted to implement the right to self-determination.

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