According to a landmark report by Amnesty International, the number of people executed under the death penalty increased by 53 percent in 2022, with the global death toll reaching to 883 people, up from 579 the year before. This grades the highest execution rate in five years.
Three countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran were accountable for 90 percent of all the known executions, according to Amnesty. Iran saw an 83 percent increase, escalating from 341 in 2021 to at least 576 people being killed in 2022. Out of these cases, 279 were for murder and 255 were drug-related offenses. This gray trend has continued in this year as well, with at least 94 people put to death in the country in January and February alone, with executions used as a tool of ethnic repression, according to Amnesty.
Saudi Arabia’s numbers also saw a major rise, tripling from 65 to 196 people. This marks the highest number of known executions documented in the country in 30 years. This change in the country was mainly because of an increase in executions for terrorism-related offenses (increasing from 9 in 2021 to 85 in 2022) as well as the resumption of executions for drug-related offenses (rising from 0 in 2021 to 57 in 2022). Egypt executed 24 people and handed out 538 death sentences that year.
China is still considered to be the most serious executioner, with deaths expected to be in thousands of numbers. The Infographic used here excludes these figures, however, as the secrecy of the state means that exact death count remains unknown. Amnesty stated that numbers are also unknown for North Korea and Vietnam, and adds that the total yearly figures represent the minimum values.
The known executions documented and used in this Infographic were carried out in 20 countries in 2022, up from 18 the year before. In the United States, the year 2022 saw 18 executions nationwide, which is an increase from the 11 the year before, but still remains among the country’s lowest figures.
Infographic by: Statista